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  BOOK V.  
VII. Slaves 1
VIII. Serfs of Sparta, Crete, Thessaly, &c. 36
  BOOK VI.  
I. Condition of the Poor 68
II. Industry: Millers, Bakers, Vintners, Markets, &c. 96
III. Industry: Perfumers, Barbers, Goldsmiths, Lapidaries, &c. 131
IV. Industry: Smiths, Cutlers, Armourers, the Art of Mining, Charcoal-making, &c. 153
V. Industry: House-builders, Carpenters, Cabinet-makers, Turners, Musical Instrument-makers, Potters, Glass-workers, &c. 176
VI. Industry: Oil and Colourmen, Italian Warehouses, Druggists, Collectors of Simples 197
VII. Industry: Weavers, Glovers, Sock-makers, Cordwainers, Tanners, Hatters, Dyers of Purple, &c., Fishermen 214
VIII. Commerce of Doric States 245
IIIX. Commerce of Attica 276
X. Navigation 300
XI. Exports and Imports 326
XII. Exports of the Islands, Italy, Gaul, and Spain 355
XIII. Exports from Africa and the East 381
XIV. Funeral Ceremonies 414







It will have been remarked, that both in town and country, the mean and painful drudgery was chiefly performed by slaves,[1] whose origin, condition, and numbers, in the principal Grecian states, it now becomes necessary to describe. The greatest writers of antiquity[2] were on this subject perplexed and undecided. They appear to have comprehended the full extent of the evil,[3] but to have been too much the slaves themselves of habit and prejudice to discover, that no form or modification of 2servitude is consistent with human happiness or with justice, without which no happiness can be. This is evident from the conversation in Crete between Plato and his Gnosian and Spartan companions. They do not trouble their minds with inquiries respecting the origin of slavery, which, while some tribes of men are stronger and more civilised than others, could never be difficult to be conjectured; but considering its existence easy to be accounted for, they are concerned to discover by what means may be avoided or mitigated the mischiefs they everywhere saw accompanying it.

Most perplexing of all,[4] however, was the Laconian Heloteia; because in that case the comparatively great number of the servile caste rendered it necessary, in the opinion of some, to break their spirit and bring them down to their condition by a system of severity which constitutes the infamy of Sparta.

The discredit, however, of subsisting on slave labour was to a certain extent shared by all the states of Greece, even by Athens. They appear to have supposed that no slaves, no body politic.[5] But in the treatment of those unfortunate men there was as much variation as from the differences of national character might have been inferred. The Athenians in this respect, as in most others, being the antipodes of the Spartans, and falling into the error, if such a thing can be conceived, of extreme humanity and indulgence.

It is no doubt possible by kindness to obliterate many of the ugly features of slavery, so that between the vassal and his lord strong mutual affection may spring up.[6] We hear, accordingly, of 3slaves whose love for their masters exceeded the love of brothers, or of children;[7] they have toiled, fought, died, for them; nay they have sometimes surpassed them in courage, and taught them, in situations of imminent danger, how to die, as in the case of that military attendant, who, when taken prisoner with his master, and seeing him resolved on death, yet hesitating about the means, dashed his brains out against the wall to show him how it might be done. Another example is recorded of a slave who put on the disguise of his lord, that he might be slain in his stead. But what then? Do these examples prove that in servitude there is anything ennobling? On the contrary, the only inference to be drawn from them is, that in these cases great and worthy souls had been dealt with unjustly by fortune. However, since none but the incorrigibly base can now be found to advocate this worst of all human vices, I may spare my arguments, and proceed at once to trace the history of slavery in Greece.

In very remote ages mankind, according to tradition, dispensed with the labours of domestic slaves,[8] 4whose place was supplied by the women of the family,[9] who rose before day to grind corn for the household; and as they usually sang while thus engaged, the whole village on such occasions would seem alive with music. As in the East, also, they were accustomed to draw water from the wells, or seek it at a distance at the fountains, as I have already, in speaking of the Hellenic women, observed. But as soon as men began to give quarter in war, and became possessed of prisoners, the idea of employing them, and rendering their labours subservient to their maintenance naturally suggested itself. At the outset, therefore, as a very distinguished historian[10] has remarked, servitude sprung from feelings of humanity; for when it was found that advantages could be derived from captured enemies they were no longer butchered in the field. Hence, from the verb signifying “to be subdued,” they were denominated Dmöes;[11] for “of whom a man is 5overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.”[12] Of these constant mention is made in Homer. Thus Telemachos speaks of the Dmöes whom his father had left in his charge; and Agamemnon detained in his tent a number of Lesbian women taken captive in war. In the same condition was Briseïs: and to this fate Hector fears Andromache may be reserved after his death.[13]

Possibly the practice was borrowed from the East, where the mention of slaves occurs in the remotest ages. Thus too in later times, Atossa, queen of Persia, is represented to have urged Darius into the Grecian war, that she might possess Athenian, Spartan, Argive, and Corinthian slaves.[14] And the Pythoness foretelling the destruction of Miletus, exclaims:

“And of a numerous long-haired race thy wives shall wash the feet.”[15]

The practice was when a number of prisoners had been taken, to make a division of them among the chiefs, generally by lot, and then to sell them for slaves.[16] This Achilles boasts he had frequently done, and old Priam fears will be the destiny of his own sons, as it had been of Lycaon whom the Thessalian hero had seized[17] in his garden. To the same purpose is the lament of Hecuba,[18] who accuses him of having reduced many of her sons to slavery. Examples occur in antiquity of whole cities and states being at once subjected to servitude: thus the inhabitants 6of Judea were a first and a second time carried away captive to Babylon, where their masters, not perhaps from mockery, required of them to sing for their entertainment some of their national songs, to which, as we learn from the prophet, they replied: “How can we sing the songs of Zion in a strange land?” The citizens likewise of Miletos, after the unsuccessful revolt of Aristagoras, were transported into Persia, as were those also of Eretria and Carystos in Eubœa.[19] Like the Israelites, these Greeks long preserved in captivity their national manners and language, though surrounded by strangers and urged by every inducement to assimilate themselves to their conquerors. A similar fate overtook the inhabitants of Thebes, who were sold into slavery by Alexander, as were those of Mycene by the Argives, and the Corinthians by Mummius.[20]

But the supply produced by war seldom equalled the demand; and in consequence a race of kidnappers sprung up, who, partly merchants and partly pirates, roamed about the shores of the Mediterranean, as similar miscreants do now about the slave-coasts, picking up solitary and unprotected individuals. Sometimes their boldness rose to the wives or daughters of the chiefs; as in the case of Paris, who robbed the house, and carried away the wife of Menelaus; and of those Phœnicians who having landed at Argos and held, during several days, a fair on the beach, ended by stealing the king’s daughter.[21] Mitford’s supposition that both Io and her companions may have been allured on board,[22] is founded on the apologetical narrative of the pirates themselves. The practice of kidnapping certainly prevailed widely. Thus Eumæos was, by the Phœnicians, sold to Laertes, and a similar fate awaited the woman whom the Taphian pirates stole away at the same 7time.[23] Odysseus himself relates how a Phœnician rogue plotted against his liberty when he was sailing with him towards Libya, and that the Thesprotians had meditated a like design.[24] To enumerate no other instances, Laomedon menaces Apollo and Poseidon with servitude, observing that he will have them bound and shipped to some distant island for sale.[25]

Neither war, however, nor piracy sufficed at length to furnish that vast multitude of slaves, which the growing luxury of the times induced the Greeks to consider necessary. Commerce by degrees conducted them to Caria and other parts of Asia Minor, particularly the southern coasts of the Black Sea, those great nurseries of slaves from that time until now.[26] The first Greeks who engaged in this traffic, which even by the Pagans was supposed to be attended by a curse, are said to have been the Chians, and we shall presently see how ill it prospered with them. They purchased their slaves from the barbarians, among whom the Lydians, the Phrygians, and the natives of Pontos, with many others were accustomed, like the modern Circassians, to carry on a trade in their own people.[27] We find mention made 8in the Anabasis of a Macronian, who having been a slave at Athens and obtaining his liberty, afterwards became a soldier and served the Ten Thousand as an interpreter at a critical moment during their passage through his native country.[28]

Before proceeding, however, with the history of the slave-trade, it may be proper to describe the power possessed by masters over their domestics during the heroic ages. Every man appears to have been then a king in his own house, and to have exercised his authority most regally. Thus we find the young Telemachos taking pleasure in the idea that he shall be king over his slaves;[29] and Andromache, with a mother’s fondness, fears lest her son should become the drudge of an unfeeling lord.[30] Power generally, when unchecked by law, is fierce and inhuman, and over their household, gentlemen, in those ages, exercised the greatest and most awful power, that of life and death, as they afterwards did at Rome.[31] This is illustrated by an example in the Odyssey, where the hero being, while in disguise, insulted grossly by Melanthios, threatens the slave that he will incite Telemachos to cut him in pieces. Afterwards, when he has recovered his authority, the terrible menace is remembered and fulfilled. The culprit is seized and mutilated with savage barbarity, his members, torn from the body, are thrown to the dogs, and even the poet, upon the whole so humane, does not seem to consider the punishment too great for the offence.[32] It has even been supposed that 9this kind of mutilation was a punishment peculiar to slaves; for Laomedon, while menacing the gods in the manner above described, adds, that he will cut off their ears.[33] When supposed to deserve death they were executed ignominiously by hanging, as in the case of the domestics of Odysseus, whose offences, though grave, would scarcely in any free country be visited with capital punishment.[34] This was regarded as an impure end. To die honourably was to perish by the sword.[35]

The practice of manumission already in the heroic ages prevailed.[36] Odysseus promises their freedom to his herdsman and swineherd if by their aid he should slaughter the suitors; and, according to Plutarch, Telemachos actually bestowed on Eumæos and his companions both their liberty and the rights of citizenship, and from them, he adds, the celebrated families of the Koliades and Bukoli were descended.[37]

Nor does the illustrious race appear to be yet extinct, 10Professor Koliades[38] claiming to be a lineal descendant from Eumæos, which may very well be since he must be descended from somebody; and there is no reason why a descendant of Eumæos should not be a professor.

In addition to the slaves there were likewise free labourers who worked for hire, and were called Thetes.[39] These sometimes seem to have been placed on the extremities of estates, as the guardians of boundaries, a post which Eurymachos offers with good wages to Odysseus.[40] And it is the condition of one of these hinds that Achilles prefers in Hades to the empire of the shades.[41] The gods also in their sojourn upon earth sometimes submitted to the hardships of this condition. Thus Phœbos Apollo kept the flocks of Admetos, king of Thessaly,[42] and the belief in this humble condition of the gods on earth is objected by Lucian and Dionysius of Halicarnassus,[43] as blameworthy to the Greeks. Herodotus, too, relates that the three sons of Temenos—Gavanes, Aëropos, and Perdiccas—fled from Argos into Illyria and thence into Upper Macedonia to the city of Lebæa, where they served the king for hire, the first tending the royal stud, the second the cattle, and the third the sheep and goats.[44]

From the history of Minos, which, whether true or fabulous, still illustrates the manners of the times, we learn, that the tribute exacted by a victorious enemy sometimes consisted of slaves. Thus the Cretan king, having made a successful descent on the Attic coast, was propitiated (as by our own ancestors were the Danes and other Northern savages) 11by an annual offering of fourteen youths and virgins, who, being conveyed to Crete, were there said to be destroyed by a monster born of Pasiphaë, daughter of the sun.[45] Theseus, the great hero of the Ionic race, delivered his country from this obnoxious tax, and on his return to Athens was received by the people with unbounded gratitude; sacrifices and processions were instituted in his honour, and the memory of his noble achievement was religiously preserved as long as paganism endured.[46]

And in some such ways as the above, slaves, in early times, must have been procured; for, as Timæos of Taormina[47] remarks, the Greeks of those ages obtained none in the regular course of traffic. He further adds, that Aristotle was generally accused of having misunderstood the usages of the Locrians, among whom, as among the Phocians,[48] it was not of old the custom to possess slaves, whether male or female. The practice, however, prevailed in later times; and the wife of that Philomelos who took Delphi is said to have been the first who was attended by two servile handmaids.[49] But when men commence evil courses, they seldom know where to stop. Mnason, a Phocian, and friend of Aristotle,[50] ambitious of rivalling Nicias, the son of Niceratos, purchased for his own service a thousand slaves, for which he was accused by his countrymen of lavishing upon them what would have supported an equal number of free persons.[51] In that country, therefore, it is clear there existed a class of labourers like the Thetes described by Homer, who were ready to work for hire.[52] In their domestic economy the simplicity of their manners enabled the Phocians and Locrians to dispense with the services of slaves, it being the custom among them, as among the rustics 12of Eubœa, whom we have described above, for the younger members of the family to wait on the elder.[53]

The Chians, as I have already observed, are said to have been the first Grecian people who engaged in a regular slave-trade.[54] For, although the Thessalians and Spartans possessed, at a period much anterior, their Penestæ and their Helots, they obtained them by different means: the latter, by reducing to subjection the ancient Achæan inhabitants of Peloponnesos;[55] the former, by their conquests over the Magnesians, Perrhæbians, and Bœotians of Arnè. But the Chians possessed only such barbarian slaves as they had purchased with money, in which they more nearly resembled the slave-holding nations of modern times.[56] Other circumstances, likewise, in the history of slavery among the Chians,[57] strongly suggest the parallel, and deserve to be studied with more care than appears to have been bestowed upon them. We have here, perhaps, the first type of the Maroon wars, though on a smaller scale, and marked by fewer outbreaks of atrocity. It is not, indeed, stated that the females were flogged, though throughout Greece the males were so corrected; but, whatever the nature of the severities practised on them may have been,[58] the yoke of bondage was found 13too galling to be borne,[59] and whole gangs took refuge in the mountains. Fortunately for them, the interior of the island abounded in fastnesses, and was, in those days, covered with forest.

Here, therefore, the fugitives, erecting themselves dwellings, or taking possession of caverns among almost inaccessible cliffs, successfully defended themselves, subsisting on the plunder of their former owners. Shortly before the time of the writer, to whom we are indebted for these details, a bondsman, named Drimacos, made his escape from the city and reached the mountains, where, by valour and conduct, he soon placed himself at the head of the servile insurgents over whom he ruled like a king.[60] The Chians led several expeditions against him in vain. He defeated them in the field with great slaughter; but, at length, to spare the useless effusion of human blood, invited them to a conference, 14wherein he observed, that the slaves, being encouraged in their revolt by an oracle, would never lay down their arms or submit to the drudgery of servitude. Nevertheless, the war might be terminated. “For, if my advice,” said he, “be followed, and we be suffered to enjoy tranquillity, numerous advantages will thence accrue to the state.”

There being little prospect of a satisfactory settlement of the matter by arms, the Chians consented to enter into a truce as with a public enemy. Humbled by their losses and defeats, Drimacos found them submissive to reason. He, therefore, provided himself with weights, measures, and a signet,[61] and exhibiting them to his former masters, said, “When, in future, our necessities require that I should supply myself from your stores, it shall always be by these weights and measures, and having possessed myself of the necessary quantity of provisions, I shall be careful to leave your warehouses sealed with this signet. With respect to such of your slaves as may fly and offer themselves to me, I will institute a rigid examination into their story, and if, upon inquiry, they appear to have had just grounds for complaint, I will protect them—if not, they shall be sent back to their proprietors.”

To these conditions the magistrates readily acceded, upon which the slaves who still remained 15with their masters grew more obedient, and seldom took to flight, dreading the decision of Drimacos.[62] Over his own followers he exercised a despotic authority. They, in fact, stood far more in fear of him than when in bondage of their lords, and performed his bidding without question or murmur, as soldiers obey their commander. For he was severe in the punishment of the unruly, and permitted no man to plunder or lay waste the country, or commit any act of injustice,—in short, to do anything without his order. The public festivals he was careful to observe, going round and collecting from the proprietors of the land, who bestowed upon him voluntarily both wine and the finest victims; but if, on these occasions, he discovered that a plot was hatching, or any ambush laid for him, he would take speedy vengeance.

So far the affairs of the Chians and their revolted bondsmen proceeded smoothly. But things continued not always on this footing. Observing old age to be creeping upon Drimacos, and rendered wanton apparently by prosperity, the government issued a proclamation, offering a great reward to any one who should capture him, or bring them his head.[63] The old general, discerning, perhaps, signals 16of treachery, or convinced that, at last, it must come to that, took aside a young man whom he loved, and said, “I have ever regarded you with a stronger affection than any other man, and to me you have been, instead of a son, a brother, and every other tie. But now, the days of my life are at an end, nor would I have them prolonged. With you, however, it is not so. Youth and the bloom of youth are yours. What then is to be done? You must prove yourself to possess valour and greatness of soul; and since the state offers riches and freedom to whomsoever shall slay me and bear them my head, let the reward be yours. Strike it off, and be happy!”

At first the youth rejected the proposal, but ultimately Drimacos prevailed. The old man fell, and his friend on presenting his head received the sum which had been offered by the state, together with his freedom, and thereupon after burying his benefactor’s remains, he sailed away to his own country. Now, however, the Chians underwent the just punishment of their treachery. No longer guided by the wisdom and authority of Drimacos, the fugitive slaves returned to their original habits of plunder and devastation; whereupon, remembering the moderation of the dead, they erected an 17Heroön upon his grave, and denominated him the propitious hero. The insurgents, too, holding his memory in no less veneration, continued for ages to offer up the first-fruits of their spoil at his tomb. He was, in fact, honoured with a kind of apotheosis, and canonized among the gods of the island; for it was believed that his shade often appeared to men in dreams for the purpose of revealing some servile conspiracy while yet in the bud: and they to whom he vouchsafed these warning visits, more grateful than when he yet lived, never failed to proceed to his chapel, and offer sacrifice to his manes.[64]

In another department of iniquity the Chians would appear to have been engaged about the period of Xerxes’ expedition into Greece; I mean the making of eunuchs for the Eastern market. Panionios, a miscreant engaged in this traffic, who had mutilated and sold into slavery a young man named Hermotimos, at length expiated his offence against human nature by being himself, together with his four sons, subjected to the same operation.[65] His countrymen, also, in process of time, were, in like manner, compelled to drain the bitter cup of servitude. For, as we find recorded by Nicolaos the Peripatetic, and Posidonios the Stoic, having been subjugated by Mithridates of Cappadocia, they were delivered up to their own slaves to be carried away captive into Colchis, which Athenæus, a man not overburdened with religion, considers the just punishment of their wickedness in having been the first who introduced the slave-trade into Greece, when they might have been better served by freemen for hire. From this ancient villany of the Chians is supposed to have arisen the proverb—“the Chian has bought himself a master,” which Eupolis introduced into his drama called the “Friends.”[66]

18The servile war which took place among the Samians, had a more fortunate issue, though but few particulars respecting it have come down to us. It was related, however, by Malacos, in his annals of the Siphnians, that Ephesos was first founded by a number of Samian slaves, who having retired to a mountain on the island to the number of a thousand, inflicted numerous evils on their former tyrants. These in the sixth year of the war, having consulted the oracle, came to an understanding with their slaves, who being permitted to depart in safety from the island, sailed away, and became the founders of the city and people of Ephesos.[67]

In Attica, the institution of slavery,[68] though attended, as it everywhere must be, by innumerable evils, nevertheless exhibited itself under the mildest form which it anywhere assumed in the ancient world.[69] With their characteristic attention to the interests of humanity, the Athenians enacted a law, in virtue of which slaves could indict their masters for assault and battery. Hyperides, accordingly, observed in his oration against Mantitheos, “our laws making no distinction in this respect between freemen and slaves, grant to all alike the privilege of bringing an action against those who insult or injure them.”[70] To the same effect spoke Lycurgus[71] in his first oration against Lycophron; but Demosthenes has preserved the law which empowered any Athenian, not labouring under legal disability, to denounce 19to the Thesmothetæ the person who offered violence to man, woman, or boy, whether slave or free. The action was tried before the court of Heliæa, and numerous were the examples of men who had suffered death for crimes committed against bondsmen. Not, therefore, without reason did the orator eulogise the humane spirit of the law, or dwell upon the beneficial effects which a knowledge of its existence must produce among those barbarous nations who furnished Greece with servile labourers.[72] Another privilege enjoyed by the slave class in Attica was that of purchasing their own freedom, as often as, by the careful management of the peculium secured them by law, they were enabled to offer to their owners an equivalent for their services.[73]

Still, even in Attica, the yoke of bondage was a heavy yoke, the law itself, in other matters, drawing distinctions between freemen and slaves doubly galling because palpably unnecessary. Legally, for example, they were not allowed to wear long hair,[74] or a garment with two sleeves,[75] to drink wine, save at the festival of Pithœgia on the first day of the month Anthesterion; to anoint themselves as in the gymnasia, to be present at the procession in honour of the Eumenides, or in the case of females to enter the temple of Demeter during the celebration of the Thesmophoria.[76] A similar spirit pervaded the servile code in other parts of Greece. Thus, in the island of Cos they were prohibited from joining in the sacrifices to Hera, and from tasting the victims. They were, likewise, forbidden to be present when offerings were presented to the Manes of Phorbas. 20But from the very words of the law which authorised the temple wardens to exclude them on these occasions, it is clear that on all others they might freely enter.[77] At Athens, with the exceptions above mentioned, every temple in the city appears to have been open to them. Occasionally, moreover, certain of their number were selected to accompany their masters to consult the oracle at Delphi, when even they were permitted, like free citizens, to wear crowns upon their heads, which, for the time conferred upon them exemption from blows or stripes.[78] Among their more serious grievances, was their liability to personal chastisement, which, besides being inflicted as our punishment of the treadmill, or whipping,[79] at the carts’-tail, by an order of the magistrates,[80] was too much left to the discretion of their owners, whose mercies in many cases would be none of the most tender. In time of war, however, this planter’s luxury could not be enjoyed,[81] since the flogged slaves might go over to the enemy, as sometimes happened.[82] They are said, besides, to have worked the mines in fetters; probably, however, only in consequence of the revolt described by Posidonios, in which they slew the overseers of the mines, and taking possession of the acropolis of Sunium,[83] laid waste for a considerable time the whole 21of the adjacent districts. This took place simultaneously with the second insurrection of the slaves in Sicily (there was, perhaps, an understanding between them) in the quelling of which nearly a million of their number were destroyed.[84] Other grievances they endured, which will be noticed as we proceed; but in addition to those that actually existed, a learned modern writer has imagined another, which, in his opinion, reduces their condition beneath that of the Helots. “Nearly all the ties of family were broken,” he says, “among the slaves of Athens;” and further explaining himself in a note remarks, that the marriage of slaves was there an uncommon event.[85] We find, however, from contemporary writers, that except in cases of incorrigible perverseness, slaves were, on the contrary, encouraged to marry, it being supposed they would thus become more attached to their masters.[86] The same bold and ingenious writer endeavours to give a reason for what has been quoted above, by saying, “it was cheaper to purchase than to bring up slaves.” This was not the opinion of the ancients, “we,” say they, “prefer and put more trust in slaves born and brought up in the house, than in such as are purchased.”[87]

It has been observed that, from the most grievous 22insults and contumely, slaves were protected by the laws; but if, in spite of legal protection, their masters found means to render their lives a burden, the state provided them with an asylum in the temples of Theseus and the Eumenides.[88] Having there taken sanctuary, their oppressors could not force them thence without incurring the guilt of sacrilege.[89] Thus, in a fragment of Aristophanes’ Seasons we find a slave deliberating whether he should not take refuge in the Theseion, and there remain till he could procure his transfer to a new master;[90] for any one who conducted himself too harshly towards his slaves was by law compelled to sell them.[91] Nay and not only so, but the slave could institute an action against his lord called αἰκιάς δίκη, or against any other citizen who had behaved unjustly or injuriously towards him. But the right of sanctuary was no doubt limited, and only extended from the time of the slave’s flight 23to the next New Moon, when a periodical slave-auction appears to have been held.[92]

On this occasion the slaves were stationed, as I have seen them in the bazaars of modern Egypt, in a circle in the market-place, and the one whose turn it was to be sold mounted a table, which seems to have been of stone, where he exhibited himself and was knocked down to the best bidder. Sometimes when the articles were lively they made great sport for the company, as in the case of Diogenes who bawled aloud “whoever among you wants a master, let him buy me.”[93]

To the friskiness whether natural or assumed which the young barbarians often exhibited on this occasion, Menander alludes in the following fragment of his Ephesian:[94]

I scorn by the gods to be breechesless found,
And for sale tripping briskly the vile circles round.

Slaves of little or no value were contemptuously called “salt-bought,” from a custom prevalent among the inland Thracians, of bartering their captives for salt;[95] whence it may be inferred, that domestics from that part of the world were considered inferior.

Respecting the price of slaves an important passage occurs in the Memorabilia, where Socrates, conversing with Antisthenes, on the subject of friendship, inquires whether friends were to be valued at so much per head, like slaves, some of whom he says were not worth a demimina, while others would fetch two, 24five, or even ten minæ,[96] that is, the price varied from forty shillings to forty pounds. Nay it is even said that Nicias, son of Niceratos, bought an overseer for his silver mines at the price of a talent, or two hundred and forty-one pounds sterling.[97] This passage is in substance quoted by Boeckh,[98] who observes that, exclusively of the fluctuations caused by the variations in the supply and the demand, the market-price of slaves was affected by their age, health, strength, beauty, natural abilities, mechanical ingenuity, and moral qualities. The meanest and cheapest class were those who worked in the mills,[99] where mere bodily strength was required, and therefore by setting Samson at this labour the Philistines intimated their extreme contempt for his blind energy. A very low value was set upon such slaves as worked in the mines, about 150 drachmas in the age of Demosthenes.[100] Ordinary house-slaves, whether male or female, might be valued at about the same price. Demosthenes, in fact, considered two minæ and a half a large sum for a person of this class. Of the sword-cutlers possessed by the orator’s father some were valued at six minæ, others at five, while the lowest were worth above three. Chair-makers sold for about two minæ.

25In his discussion on this point, Boeckh[101] charges Demosthenes with intentional falsehood, because, in his oration against Aphobos, he reckons fourteen sword-cutlers at forty minæ, something less than three minæ a-piece. But among those possessed by his father at his death some were reckoned at only three minæ. His guardians made use of them for ten years, that is, till they were grown old, by which time the best would have deteriorated, and the others become of no value.[102] This being the case, I do not see upon what ground Boeckh bases his accusation. The wages of slaves, when let out by their masters on hire, varied greatly, as did also the profit derived from them. A miner was supposed to yield his master an obolos per day, a leather-worker two oboli, and a foreman or overseer three. Expert manufacturers of fine goods, such as head-nets, stuffs of Amorgos, and variegated fabrics like our flowered muslins, must have produced their owners much greater returns.[103]

Slaves, at Athens, were divided into two classes, private and public. The latter, who were the property of the state, performed several kinds of service supposed to be unworthy of freemen: they were, for example, employed as vergers, messengers, apparitors, scribes, clerks of public works,[104] and inferior servants of the gods. Most of the temples of Greece possessed, in fact, a great number of slaves or serfs, who cultivated the sacred domains, exercised various humbler offices of religion, and were, in short, ready on all occasions to execute the orders of the priests.[105] At Corinth, where the worship of Aphrodite chiefly prevailed, these slaves consisted almost exclusively of women,[106] who having, on certain 26occasions, burnt frankincense, and offered up public prayers to the goddess, were sumptuously feasted within the precincts of her fane.

Among the Athenians, the slaves of the republic, generally captives taken in war, received a careful education, and were sometimes entrusted with important duties. Out of their number were selected the secretaries,[107] who, in time of war, accompanied the generals and treasurers of the army, and made exact minutes of their expenditure, in order that, when on their return these officers should come to render an account of their proceedings, their books might be compared with those of the secretaries. In cases of difficulty, moreover, these unfortunate individuals were subjected to torture, in order to obtain that kind of evidence which the ancients deemed most satisfactory.[108]

The servile vocabulary was necessarily abundant: διάκονος,[109] a servant in general; ὑπηρέτης,[110] a personal attendant or valet; ἀργυρώ-νητης,[111] a slave bought with money; ὤνιος, the same; οἰκότριψ,[112] οἰκοτραφὴς, a male slave born in the house. The name given to the female slave in the same condition was σηκὶς, or οἰκογενὴς.[113] 27The housekeeper, likewise a slave, received the appellation of ταμεία[114] from her office. A lady’s maid they called παιδίσκη,[115] though it be doubtful, according to Pollux, whether the orator Lysias, who uses the word, does so with reference to the girl’s youth or condition.[116] A slave born of slaves in the house is called οἰκοτριβαίος.[117] Chrysippos makes a distinction between οἰκέτης[118] and δοῦλος,[119] but without much foundation. Clitarchus enumerates various names by which slaves were known in Greece: ἄζοι, θεραπόντες,[120] ἀκόλουθοι,[121] πάλμονες, and λάτρεις. Rural slaves were called ἐρκίται. Hermon, in his Cretan Glossaries, observes, that slaves, born of free parents (εὐγένεις), were, in the island of Crete, called μνῶται. Seleucus informs us, that ἄζοι signifies servants male and female.[122] The latter were also denominated ἀποφράσαι and βολίζαι. A male slave, born of a slave, was termed σινδρὼν; a female attendant on a lady, ἀμφίπολος; a slave-girl who walked before her mistress, πρόπολος. Female slaves were, at Lacedæmon, called χαλκίδες. The term οἰκέτης was applied to any person employed about a house, whether slave or free.

A very pleasant and significant custom prevailed when a slave newly purchased was first brought into the house. They placed him before the hearth, where his future master, mistress, and fellow-servants, poured baskets of ripe fruit, dates, figs, filberts, walnuts, and so on, upon his head, to intimate that 28he was come into the abode of plenty.[123] The occasion was converted by his fellow-slaves into a holiday and a feast; for custom appropriated to them whatever was thus cast upon the new-comer, and as there were sweetmeats among the rest, they had wherewith to make merry.[124]

Their food was commonly, as might be expected, inferior to that of their masters. Thus the dates grown in Greece, which ripened but imperfectly, were appropriated to their use; and for their drink they had a small thin wine called Lora,[125] by the Romans made of the husks of grapes, laid, after they had been pressed, to soak in water,[126] and then squeezed again, like our Bunnel, in the perry country.[127] That they generally ate barley-bread in Attica was no peculiar hardship,[128] since the citizens themselves frequently did the same. We find, moreover, that to give a relish to their coarse meal, plain broth, and salt fish,[129] they were indulged with pickled gherkins. 29In the early ages of the commonwealth they imitated the frugal manner of their lords, so that no slave who valued his reputation would be seen to enter a tavern; but in later times they naturally shared largely in the general depravity of morals, and placed their summum bonum in eating and drinking. Their whole creed, on this point, has been summed up in a few words by the poet Sotion.[130] “Wherefore,” exclaims a slave, “dole forth these absurdities, these ravings of sophists, prating up and down the Lyceum, the Academy, and the gates of the Odeion? In all these there is nothing of value. Let us drink, let us drink deeply, O Sicon, Sicon![131] Let us rejoice, whilst it is yet permitted us to delight our souls. Enjoy thyself, O Manes! Nothing is sweeter than the belly, which alone is to thee as thy father and thy mother. Virtues, embassies, generalships, are vain pomps, resembling the plaudits of a dream. Heaven, at the fated hour, will deliver thee to the cold grasp of death, and thou wilt bear with thee nothing but what thou hast drunk and eaten! All else is dust, like Pericles, Codros, and Cimon.”

The employment of household slaves necessarily varied according to the rank and condition of their lords. In the dwellings of the wealthy and luxurious 30they were accustomed to fan their masters and mistresses, and to drive away the flies with branches of myrtle, instead of which, in the East, they make use of flappers of palm-leaves. Among the Roman ladies it was customary to retain a female attendant for the sole purpose of looking after the Melitensian lap-dogs[132] of their mistresses, in which they were less ambitious than that dame in Lucian, who kept a philosopher for this purpose.[133] Female cup-bearers filled the place of our saucy footmen.[134] Ladies’ maids were likewise slaves. They were initiated in all the arts of the toilette; and it is told of Julia, whose hair turned prematurely grey, that her ornatrix was sometimes surprised plucking out the white hairs by the entrance of her father.[135] The offices of these ornamenters is thus described by Manilius:

Illis cura sui vultus frontisque decoræ
Semper erit, tortosque in plexum ponere crineis,
Aut nodis revocare, et rursus vertice denso
Fingere et appositis caput emutare capillis.[136]

In these arts they were regularly taught under masters, and there would likewise appear to have been a set of men who earned their subsistence by initiating slaves in household labours. An example is mentioned at Syracuse of a person[137] who probably had an establishment of his own, where he instructed slaves in the whole round of their domestic duties, such as bread-making, cooking, washing, and so on. In the baker’s business Anaxarchos, an Eudaimonist philosopher, one of the fitting companions of Alexander the Great,[138] introduced an improvement 31by which modern times may profit,—to preserve his bread pure from the touch, and even from the breath of the slaves who made it, he caused them to knead the dough with gloves on their hands, and to wear a respirator of some gauze-like substance over the mouth.[139] Other individuals, who grudged their domestics a taste of their delicacies, obliged them, while employed at the kneading-trough, to wear a broad collar, like a wheel, which prevented them from bringing their hands to their mouths.[140] This odious practice, however, could not have been general, as it is clear, from an expression 32in Aristophanes[141] and his scholiast, that slaves employed in making bread used to amuse themselves by eating the dough. This seems to be one of the principal causes of disgust to the rogues in the piece employed in preparing the delicacies with which Trygæos feeds the beetle whereon he is about to mount to the court of Zeus.

In the city of Abdera, as we find from an anecdote of Stratonicos,[142] every private citizen kept a slave who served him in the capacity of herald, and announced by sound of trumpet the appearance of the new moon, and the festival by which it was followed. A bon mot worth repeating is ascribed to this travelling wit. Being one day in the cemetery of Teicheios, a town of the Milesian territory,[143] inhabited by a mixed population from all the neighbouring countries, and seeing on every tomb the name of some foreigner, “Come,” said he to his slave, “let us depart from this place. Nobody dies here but strangers.”

One of the most steady and faithful of the domestics was usually selected to be the porter.[144] Occasionally, moreover, in the establishments of opulent and ostentatious persons, as Callias for example, eunuchs, imported from Asia, were employed as door-keepers.[145]

33The directions, as Mitford justly observes, which Penelope’s housekeeper gives to the menial servants for the business of the day, might still serve in the East without variation: “Go quickly,” she said, “some of you sweep the house, and sprinkle it, and let the crimson carpets be spread upon the seats; let all the tables be well rubbed with sponges, and wash carefully the bowls and cups. Some of you go immediately to the fountain for water.”[146]

Besides working at the mill, and fetching water, both somewhat laborious employments, we find that female slaves were sometimes engaged in offices still more unfeminine; that is, in woodcutting upon the mountains, where the impudent old fellow, in Aristophanes, takes advantage of Thratta.[147] Events of this kind, however, could only happen among the peasant girls. In the city both mistresses and maids were too domestic to meet with adventures in forest or on mountains. Towards the decline of the commonwealth, it became a mark of wealth and consequence to be served by black domestics, both male and female, as was also the fashion among the Romans and the Egyptian Greeks. Thus Cleopatra[148] had negro boys for torch-bearers; and the shallow exclusive, in Cicero,[149] is anxious to make it known 34that he has an African valet. Juvenal, in his sarcastic style, alludes to this practice.[150]

Tibi pocula cursor
Gætulus dabit aut nigri manus ossea Mauri.

The Athenian ladies, like our Indian dames, affected as a foil, perhaps, to be attended by waiting-maids rendered “by Phœbus’ amorous pinches black.”[151]

Travellers among the higher Alps are almost invariably attended by Swiss guides who, laden with their employer’s baggage, climb before them up the rocks, and are less fatigued at the close of the day’s journey than the rich pedestrians who carry nothing beyond their own weight. This is an exact image of the style of travelling in antiquity. It was then common even for opulent men, to “make their own legs their compasses,” as Scriblerus phrases it; but, not to load their own delicate shoulders with a knapsack, they were attended, like Bacchos in the Frogs, by a steady slave, who carried the baggage, mounted on a porter’s knot upon his shoulders. To employ more than one valet in this service was esteemed a mark of luxurious habits; and therefore Æschines reproaches Demosthenes that, during his embassy, he was attended by two domestics with each a carpet-bag.[152] Both by Theophrastus and Xenophon this attendant is called an Acoluthos, or follower, because it was his duty to walk behind his master; but this name in general signified a youthful valet, kept in personal attendance on the great.[153] The simplicity of republican manners at Athens condemned the habit of maintaining many of those elegant youths, which, moreover was prohibited by law.[154]

35From the severity of manners, however, one evil arose—the single slave was sometimes condemned by vanity to carry the burden of two; and as their grumblings were proportioned to their hardship, their case was soon taken up by the comic poets, not, I fear, so much for the sake of humanity, as because it often furnished them with a good joke or two. By degrees, as no writers dwell so constantly on a fruitful topic or so frankly imitate each other, it became the fashion of the stage to introduce a miserable devil into every comedy, whose misfortunes, like those of the clown in our pantomimes, usually kept the theatre in a roar. The practice, however, had already grown stale in the time of Aristophanes, who both ridiculed and followed it; for while his sneers at the grumbling valet are repeated usque ad nauseam, much of the humour and interest of the Frogs arise out of the tricks and adventures of a melancholy wag of this description as Casaubon[155] long ago observed.

When men have usurped an undue dominion over their fellows, they seldom know where to stop. The Syrians themselves, enslaved politically, and often sold into servitude abroad, affected when rich a peculiarly luxurious manner: female attendants waited on their ladies, who, when mounting their carriages, required them to crawl on all-fours that they might make a foot-stool of their backs.[156]

1. On the state of domesticity in modern times, see the interesting work by Monsieur Grégoire, Sur la Domesticité, p. 3, sqq.

2. Cf. Plat. de Legg. t. viii. p. 38.

3. Thus Metrodoros:—Δοῦλος ἀναγκαῖον μὲν κτῆμα, οὐχ ἡδὺ δὲ. Stob. Florileg. Tit. 62. 44.

4. Cf. Plat. de Legg. vi. t. vii. p. 460.

5. Even no house according to Aristot. Polit. i. 3. Stob. Floril. Tit. 62. 44.

6. Herodes Atticus, for instance, lamented the death of his slaves as if they had been his relations, and erected statues to their memory in woods, or fields, and beside fountains. Philost. Vit. Soph. ii. 10. Among respectable slaves it was thought disgraceful to drink when the family was in trouble. Vict. Var. Lect. viii. 4. A striking example of the affection produced by good usage is mentioned by Libanius: “Sed, ut intelligas,” says the sophist, writing to Uranius, “quam fidum habeas servum, quæsivi ego tunc otiosus, cur, præter ejus generis hominum, consuetudinem tanta fide res tuas curaret? Is vero mihi graviter sapientissimèque respondit se novum quoddam fidissimæ servitutis genus excogitare oportuisse, quoniam herum habeat nomine, re vero fratrem, cum quo eundem cibum caperet, idem vinum biberet, à quo non modo vapularet, sed ne malum quidem unquam aliquid audiret,” Epistol. i. 16. Lat. ed J. C. Wolf. p. 739. a.

7. Plato, de Legg. vi. t. vii. p. 460.

8. In old times there were neither Manes nor Sekis: the women did everything. Athen. vi. 83. Cf. Herod. vi. 137. Of these early periods, however, few records remain, for as soon as the Greeks appear upon the stage of history they are attended by slaves. On this account Philo Judæus admires the Argonauts, who on their celebrated expedition forewent the aid of servile labour: ἄγαμαι καὶ τῶν Ἀργοναυτῶν, οἰ σύμπαν ἀπέφῃναν ἐλεύθερον τὸ πλήρομα, μηδένα μήτε τᾶς εἰς ἀναγκαίας ὑπηρεσίας προσέμενοι δοῦλον, ἀδελφὸν ἐλευθερίας αὐτουργίαν ἐν τῷ τότε ἀσπασαμένων Lib. quisq. virt. Stud. t. ii. p. 467. ed. Mangey.

9. In later times, however, this laborious task devolved upon female slaves. “Gottlieb Fischer (Disput. Philolog. de Molis Manual. Vet. in 4. Gedani, 1728,) établit, par des preuves multipliées, que chez les Egyptiens, les Babyloniens, les Perses, les Arabes, les Grecs, les Romains, ce travail étoit ordinairement le partage des femmes esclaves. L’invention des moulins à eau fut pour elles l’époque d’une joie universelle, dont le poète Antipater se rendit l’interprète par une pièce arrivée jusqu’à nous: Femmes occupées a moudre, ne fatiguez plus vos bras, dormez la longue matinée ... Cérès a ordonné aux nymphes de remplacer l’ouvrage de vos mains, etc.” Grégoire de la Domesticité, p. 7.

10. Mitford, Hist, of Greece, i. 405.$1“$2”$3See on this subject, Grotius de Jur. Bell. et Pac. iii. 14. Rousseau’s Contrat Social, i. 4.

11. Δμῶες dicti παρὰ δαμᾶσθαι, à domando, Feith. Antiq. Hom. ii. 20. p. 180. Horn. Odyss. ρ. 299.

12. II. Epist. Peter, ch. ii. ver. 19.

13. Odyss. α. 398. Iliad. θ. 128, seq. β. 689, sqq. τ. 193. Virg. Æneid. iii. 326, seq.

14. Herod, iii. 134. Ἐπιθυμέω observes the queen, γὰρ λόγῳ πυνθανομένη, Λακαίνας τέ μοι γενέσθαι θεράπαινας καὶ Ἀργείας καὶ Ἀττικὰς καὶ Κορινθίας. The same thing is related by Ælian (De Nat. Animal, xi. 27); but it is probable that Herodotus was the authority on which he based his narrative.

15. Herod, vi. 19.

16. Eurip. Troad. 30, sqq.

17. Feith, Antiq. Horn. p. 181.

18. Iliad. φ. 102. ω. 751, seq.

19. Herod, vi. 20, 119.

20. Diod. Sicul. xi. Arrian, Anab. i. p. 11. Plut. Symp. ix. 1. Mitf. Hist. of Greece, ii. 176.

21. Herod, i. 1.

22. History of Greece, i. 32.

23. Odyss. ο. 427. 482.

24. Odyss. ζ. 340.

25. Iliad. φ. 453, seq. Feith observes that the Romans afforded no encouragement to those low and sordid villains who stole and sold their fellow-creatures, and kept none as slaves, but such as were lawfully captured in war. Antiq. Hom. ii. 20.

26. Female slaves were obtained from Thrace, Phrygia, and Paphlagonia. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 261. Philost. Vit. Apoll. Tyan. viii. 7. 12. Cf. Plut. Sympos. v. 7. 1.

27. Philost. Vit. Apoll. Tyan. viii. 7. 12. The demoralising effects of this traffic were never perhaps better illustrated than by Barbot. This writer, while describing the arts by which men entice their own children, kindred, or neighbours, to the European factories for the purpose of selling them, relates an anecdote exhibiting the ne plus ultra of human depravity: “I was told of one who designed to sell his own son; but he, understanding French, dissembled for a while, and then contrived it so cunningly as to persuade the French that the old man was his slave, and not his father, by which means he delivered him up into captivity; and thus made good the Italian proverb, a furbo furbo e mezzo; amounting to as much as ‘set a thief to catch a thief’ or ‘diamond cuts diamond.’” Descr. of Guinea, i. 4. The son immediately after was relieved of his ill-got gains and himself sold for a slave.

28. Xenoph. Anab. iv. 8. 4.

29. Odyss. α. 397.

30. Iliad. ω. 734.

31. See Joach. Hopp. Comment. Succinct. ad Instit. Justin. 1. i. Tit. viii. § 1. p. 61. Grot. De Jur. Bell. et Pac. ii. 5. 28. iii. 7. 3.

32. Odyss. ρ. 369. χ. 475, sqq. In most parts of the ancient world the punishments of slaves were to the last degree disproportionate and unjust: “Cibum enim adurere, mensam evertere, dicto tardius audientem fuisse, cruce, aut flagellis ad minus expiabantur. (Cf. Plut. De Cohibend. Irâ. § 13. 15.) Dixisses, omnes penitus dominos professos fuisse Stoicam sectam, adeò illis altè insederat, omnia servorum peccata æqualia esse. Quo factum est, ut servi nuper empti non quærerent an superstitiosum, vel invidum, sed an iracundum herum nacti essent. Seneca; (de Irâ. iii. 28) quid est, quare ego servi mei hilarius responsum, et contumaciorem vultum, et non pervenientem usque ad me murmurationem, flagellis et compedibus expiem.” Pignor. De Servis, p. 5.

33. Feith. Antiq. Hom. ii. 20.

34. Odyss. χ. 462.

35. Eustath. ad loc. p. 1934. Cf. Virg. xii. 603.

36. In later times freedmen accused of ingratitude returned, if convicted, to slavery. Etym. Mag. 124. 53, seq. This also was the practice under the Roman law, but among our own ancestors, a bondsman, once disenthralled, could never again be reduced to servitude. Fortescue de Laud. Leg. Angl. cap. 46. p. 108 b. Under certain circumstances, we find Athenian emancipated slaves accounted honourable and permitted to marry free women. Dem. in Steph. i. § 20. Mention occurs in Demosthenes of a magnificent monument made in honour of the wife of one of these freedmen. § 22.

37. Plut. Hellen. Problem. 14.

38. See Mr. Nelson Coleridge, Introduction to the Study of the Greek Poets. Pt. 1. p. 306.

39. Odyss. δ. 644. Cf. Clavier, Hist. des Prem. Temps de la Grèce. ii. 315. Suid. v. θῆτες. 1322, who says their hire was called θητώνιον.

40. Odyss. ρ. 356.

41. Odyss. λ. 488.

42. Iliad. υ. 434, seq.

43. Antiq. Rom. ii. 19.

44. Herod. viii. 137.

45. Isocrat. Helen. Encom. § 14.

46. Mitf. Hist. of Greece, i. 70.

47. Ap. Athen. vi. 86. See, however, the testimony of Polybius, xii. 5.

48. Cf. Suid. v. δουλοσύνη. i. 769.

49. Athen. vi. 86.

50. Ælian. Var. Hist. iii. 19.

51. Athen. vi. 86.

52. Odyss. δ. 644.

53. Athen. vi. 86.

54. Steph. Byzant. v. Χῖος. p. 758. b. Arrian. in Indic. p. 529.

55. Cœl. Rhodig. xxv. 19.

56. Athen. vi. 88.

57. The servile wars of Sicily assumed a far more important character, and resembled rather those civil commotions in states in which one division of the citizens carries on hostilities against the other; for the wealth of the islanders increasing rapidly after the expulsion of the Carthaginians, they purchased great multitudes of slaves, chiefly from the East, whom they employed in the usual drudgery, and treated with extraordinary rigour, branding them in the body like cattle:—Χαρακτῆρα ἐπέβαλλον καὶ στιγμὰς τοῖς σώμασιν. Diodor. Sicul. 34. ap. Phot. Biblioth. Cod. 244. p. 384. Bekk.

58. We may probably, however, form some conjecture respecting the injuries they endured from the description of the atrocities practised by the Sicilians against their slaves. These unhappy men were compelled, as history informs us, to forego even the common reward of labour, and, though they toiled incessantly for their owners, to provide for their daily subsistence by plunder and murder:—βαρέως δ᾽ αὐτοῖς κατά τε τὰς ὑπηρεσίας ἐχρῶντο, καὶ ἐπιμελείας παντελῶς ὀλίγης ἠξίουν ὅσα τε ἐντρέφεσθαι καὶ ὅσα ἐνδύσασθαι· ἐξ ὠν οἱ πλείους ἀπὸ λῃστείας τὸ ζῇν ἐπορίζοντο, καὶ μεστὰ φόνον ἦν ἅπαντα καθάπερ στρατευμάτων διεσπαρμένων τῶν λῃστῶν. Diodor. Sicul. ap. Phot. ubi supra.

59. They, as well as the Achæans, had a prison called Zetreion, where their slaves worked in chains. Etym. Mag. 411. 33.

60. The history of the servile revolt in Sicily offers numerous points of resemblance to that of Chios, though Eunus, the leader of the Sicilian slaves, by no means deserves, either for character or abilities, to be compared with Drimacos. Eunus was an impostor, who, by visions and pretended prophecies, excited the slaves to insurrection. He obtained credit for his predictions by concealing a bored walnut-shell, filled with some fiery substance, in his mouth, and then breathing forth sparks and flames like a chimera. His mind, however, was capable of ambition, for, among the other events which he foretold, he was careful to introduce the fact, that he was one day, by the decrees of heaven, to be a king. Diodor. Sicul. 34. Ap. Phot. Biblioth. Cod. 244. p. 384. Bekk. The contrivances by which he supported his pretensions to miraculous powers are thus described by Florus, iii. 19: Syrus quidam nomine Eunus (magnitudo claudium facit, ut meminerimus) fanatico furore simulato, dum Syriæ deæ comas, jactat ad libertatem et arma servos, quasi numinum imperio concitavit idquæ ut divinitus fieri probaret, in ore abdita nuce quam sulfure, et igne stipaveret, leniter inspirans flammam inter verba fundebat.

61. In illustration of the ancient practice of sealing storehouses and other places where valuable things were kept, we may cite the following anecdote from Diogenes Laertius. (iv. 8. 3.) Lacydes, who succeeded Arcesilaus as principal professor in the New Academy, having, as it would appear, a set of thievish domestics, was in the habit of carefully sealing the door of his storeroom; but, in order not to run any risk of losing the seal, he used, unobserved, as he thought, to slip it into the chamber through an aperture in the door. The slaves, however, diligently reconnoitering his movements, discovered the old gentleman’s secret, and visiting his stores as often as they thought proper, they escaped detection by sealing the door again, and placing through the hole the signet where he had left it.

62. The conduct of Eunus and his followers, when, immediately after their revolt, they took possession of the city of Euna, presented the most striking contrast with this moderation of the Chian slaves: they pillaged the houses, and, without distinction of age or sex, slaughtered the inhabitants, plucking the infants from the breasts, and dashing them to the ground. Over part of their atrocities the historian modestly drops a veil: Εἰς δὲ τὰς γυναῖκας observes he, οὐδ᾽ ἔστιν εἰπειν (καὶ τότε βλεπόντων τῶν ἀνδρῶν) ὅσα ἐνύβριζόν τε καὶ ἐνησέλγαινον, πολλοῦ αὐτοῖς πλήθους τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως δούλων προστεθέντος οἱ καὶ κατὰ τῶν κυρίων πρότερον τὰ ἔσχατα ἐνδεικνύμενοι οὕτω πρὸς τὸν τῶν ἄλλων φόνον ετρέποντο. Diodor. Sicul. ap. Phot. Biblioth. p. 385.

63. The Romans, it must be owned, conducted the war against Eunus, who had adopted the style and title of a king, in a manner more worthy of the republic. The number of the insurgents amounted at one time to sixty thousand men, who, armed with axes, slings, stakes, and cooking-spits, defeated several armies, and carried on hostilities during upwards of three years. Pursuing them, however, without relaxation, the state prevailed at length, utterly crushed the insurrection, and carried Eunus a prisoner to Rome, where, according to Plutarch, he, like the dictator, Sylla, was devoured by vermin: Εἰ δὲ δεῖ καὶ των ἀπ´ οὐδενὸς μὲν χρηστοῦ γνωρίμων δ´ ἄλλως ἐπιμνησθῆναι, λέγεται τὸν ἄρξαντα τοῦ δουλικοῦ πολέμου περὶ Σικελίαν δραπέτην, Εὔνουν ὄνομα μετὰ τὴν ἄλωσιν εἰς Ῥώμην ἀγόμενον ὑπὸ φθειριάσεως ἀποθανεῖν. Vit. Syl. § 36. Cf. Diod. Sicul. 34. Ap. Phot. Biblioth. 386. The conclusion of the war by Perperna is thus related by Florus: Tandem Perperna imperatore supplicium de eis sumptum est. Hic enim victos et apud Eunam novissimè obsessos quum fame quasi pestilentia consumpsisset reliquias latronum compedibus catenis religavit, crucibusque punivit fuitque de servis ovatione contentus, ne dignitatem triumphi servili inscriptione violaret. iii. 19.

64. Nymphiodor. ap. Athen. vi. 88, sqq.

65. Herod. viii. 105.

66. Athen. vi. 91.

67. Athen. vi. 92.

68. For the condition of the public slaves δημόσιοι see the notes on Demosth. Olynth. ii. 7. Orat. Att. t. v. p. 45.

69. Occasionally we find them sleeping with their masters in the same apartment, which, doubtless, resembled the chambre de ménage of the old French. Aristoph. Nub. 5, et Schol.

70. Ap. Athen. vi. 92.

71. Lycurg. Frag. xi. Orat. Att. iv. 482. Cf. Meurs. Them. Att. ii. 11. Petit. Legg. Att. vi. 5. 470. Plato was less just to them than the laws of his country. If, in his imaginary state, a slave killed a slave in self-defence he was judged innocent; if a freeman, he was to be put to death like a parricide. De Legg. t. viii. p. 150.

72. Cont. Mid. § 14.

73. Petit. Legg. Att. ii. 6, p. 179.

74. Schol. Arist. Vesp. 444. In rainy weather they wore dog-skin caps, id. ib. δοῦλος ὤν κόμην, ἔχεις, was a proverb applied to persons acting irrationally. Suid. Port. t. i. p. 769.

75. Etymol. Mag. 90. 55.

76. Meurs. Them. Att. ii. 11. 85, seq. with the authors there cited.

77. Athen. vi. 81.

78. Aristoph. Plut. 21.

79. The thongs of whips used in scourging slaves, had sometimes we find small pieces of bronze fastened at the end. Caylus, Rec. D’Antiq. ii. p. 334. Among the Tyrrhenians, slaves were absurdly beaten to the sound of music. Plut. De Cohibend. Irâ. § 11.

80. Meurs. Them. Att. ii. 11.

81. Xenophon, in fact, complains that they could not be struck:—οὔτε πατάξαι ἔξεστιν αὐτόθι. De Rep. Athen. i. 10. Cf. Muret. in Arist. Ethic. v. p. 434, sqq. Elsewhere in Greece the beating of slaves would appear to have been a matter of every day occurrence. Plut. De Cohibend. Irâ. § 15.

82. Aristoph. Nub. 6, et Schol. When a slave once ran away from Diogenes he would not pursue him, but observed, that it would be a frightful thing if Diogenes could not do without the slave, since the slave could do without Diogenes. Stob. Florileg. Tit. 62. 47.

83. They would appear to have made every slave who joined them a citizen of Sunium, whence the proverb, “Slaves to-day, and Sunians to-morrow.” Athen. vi. 83. On one occasion certain slaves took possession of a number of galleys, and infested the coast of Italy as pirates. 87.

84. Athen. vi. 104.

85. Müll. Dor. ii. 37. Among the Romans, slaves were thought to be incapable of contracting marriage, properly so called. Porrò ad militaris contubernii similitudinem quandam factum est ut, cùm inter servos jure Romano veræ nuptiæ dici nequeant, servile connubium non matrimonium, ut inter liberos, sed, uti mera cohabitatio, contubernium diceretur. Torrent. in Suet. Vesp. p. 362.

86. Xen. Œcon. ix. 5. Aristot. Œcon. i. 5, (who says that slaves were to be bound by the pledge of children.) Columell. i. 8. 5.

87. Πεφύκαμεν γὰρ καὶ τῶν οἰκετῶν μᾶλλον πιστεύειν τοῖς οἴκοι γεννηθεῖσι καὶ τραφεῖσιν ἤ οὕς ἄν κτησώμεθα πριάμενοι. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 2.

88. Sch. Aristoph. Eq. 1309.

89. Plut. Thes. § 36. With the commentators on Pollux. t. v. p. 232, seq. Cf. Phil. Jud. Lib. quisq. virt. Stud. t. ii. p. 467. ed. Mangey. Grot. Le Droit de la Guerre et de la Paix, l. iii. ch. 7. § 8, with the notes of Barbeyrac.

90. Pollux. vii. 13. Such as took refuge at the Altar of Hestia or the domestic hearth were denominated ἑδρῖται. Etymol. Mag. 316, 52.

91. In modern times the Turks claim the credit of superior humanity towards their slaves who, through marriage with their masters’ sons or daughters, often rise to the highest degree of opulence and distinction. Most of the Pashas and great officers of state have sprung from a servile origin. The same thing may be said of the Sultanas and principal ladies of the empire; for which reason the Circassian princes and nobles have always been ambitious to have one at least of their daughters established in a Turkish harem. Habesci, State of the Ottoman Empire, chap. 31. p. 396, sqq. A correspondent of the Malta Times, writing from Turkey, observes: “Should the slave object to remain with his master, he himself has the power to go to the market and declare he wishes to be sold. The master never opposes this, and it proves such a check upon him that he seldom dares even to scold his slave.” Times, February 28, 1842. All this must be understood, however, with considerable reserve, since no traveller can pass through the Ottoman Empire without discovering numerous examples of the cruelty of masters towards their domestics.

92. Ἐν δὲ ταῖς νουμηνίαις οἱ δοῦλοι ἐπωλούντο. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 43. The auctioneer or slave-broker (προπάτωρ) was answerable at law for the quality of the persons whom he sold; that is, that they corresponded with the description given of them in the catalogue. Poll. vii. 11. 12. Cf. Casaub. ad Theoph. Charact. p. 257, and Scaliger on the word Propula ad Virg. Cul. 411. p. 1255, seq. Slaves were sometimes sold in the temple of Castor and Polydeukes. Dem. in Steph. i. § 23.

93. Diogen. Laert. vi. 1. 4.

94. Harpocrat. v. κύκλοι. p. 108. Vales. Cf. Poll. vii. 11.

95. Poll. vii. 14, seq.

96. Cf. Demosth. adv. Spud. § 3.

97. Xenoph. Mem. ii. 5. 2.

98. Pub. Econ. of Athens, i. 92.

99. Suid. v. ἱμαῖον ᾆσμα, t. i. p. 1239. c. Poll. vii. 180. Of the mill-houses of the ancients we have the following description in Apuleius: “Ibi complurium jumentorum multivii circuitus intorquebant molas ambage varia; nec die tantum, verum perpeti etiam nocte prorsus instabili machinarum vertigine lucubrabant perviligem farinam.” He then sketches a frightful picture of the slaves who work there: “Homunculi vibicibus livedinis totam cutem depicti, dorsumque plagosum scissili centunculo magis inumbrati, quàm obtecti; nonnulli exiguo tegili tantummodo pubem injecti, cuncti tamen sic tunicati, ut essent per pannulos manifesti; frontes literati, et capillum semirasi, et pedes annulati.” Metamorph. ix. p. 204, seq. Cf. Pignor. De Servis, p. 9, seq.

100. In Pantænet. §§ 2. 5. Barthelémy, however, who had curiously examined the subject, supposes, that a mina was worth from 300 to 600 drachmæ. Voy. du J. Anach. v. 35.

101. Pub. Econ. of Athens, i. 94.

102. Orat. in Aphob. § 2.

103. Boeckh Pub. Econ. of Athen. i. 92, sqq.

104. Rudig. ad Dem. Olynth. B. § 7. Etymol. Mag. 265. 29, seq.

105. Dissen. ad Fragm. Pind. p. 640.

106. See a representation of sacred female slaves dancing, in Zoëga, Bassi Relievi. Tav. 20, seq.

107. Vid. Stock. ad Dem. Olynth. B. § 7. Ulp. ad loc. Harpocrat. v. δημόσιος. Vales. ad Maussac. p. 374.

108. Lycurg. cont. Leocrat. § 9. Antiph. de Cæd. Herod. § 6. On the extreme uncertainty of evidence extracted by the torture, see Sir John Fortescue, de Laud. Leg. Angl. c. 22.

109. Etym. Mag. 268. 25.

110. Etym. Mag. 780. 40, sqq.

111. Etym. Mag. 285. 6. Suid. v. ἀργυρώνη. t. i. p. 416. a.

112. Suid. v. οἰκότριψ. t. ii. p. 278. b. Etym. Mag. 598. 15. Ammonius is more explicit:—οἰκότριψ καὶ οἰκέτης διαφέρει. Οἰκότριψ μὲν γὰρ, ὁ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ διατρεφόμενος, ὃν ἡμεῖς θρεπτὸν καλοῦμεν· οἰκέτης δὲ, ὁ δοῦλος ὁ ὠνητός· παρὰ δὲ Σόλωνι ἐν τοῖς ἄξοσιν οἰκεὺς κέκληται ὁ οἰκότριψ. De Adfin. Vocab. Differ. p. 101, seq. See, also, Valckenaër, Animadvers. c. iii. p. 172, sqq. Thom. Magist. v. οἰκότριψ. p. 645. The estimation in which they were held may be learned from Photius:—οἰκότριβες, οἱ ἐκ δούλων δοῦλοι, οἱ καὶ οἰκογενεῖς λέγονται· νομίθοντο δὲ τὸ παλαιὸν ἀτιμότεροι τῶν οἰκετὼν, ὅτι οἱ μὲν ἐκ δούλων, οἱ δὲ ἐξ ἐλευθέρων ἐγένοντο, καὶ οἱ μὲν ἀεὶ δοῦλοι, οἱ δὲ ὕστεροι.

113. Sch. Aristoph. Vesp. 768. Etym. Mag. 590. 14. Suid. v. οἰκογενὴς. t. ii. p. 278. a.

114. Cf. Etym. Mag. 745. 13, sqq.

115. Suid. v. παιδίσκη. t. ii. p. 472. a.

116. Poll. iii. 76. Annot. t. iv. p. 562, seq. There was over the female slaves of the household an inspector, called σκοπὸς. Etym. Mag. 718. 51.

117. Cf. Meurs. Cret. p. 192.

118. Οἰκέται οὐ μόνον οἱ δοῦλοι, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάντες οἱ ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ, γυνὴ καὶ τέκνα. Ἡρόδοτος ἐν τῇ ὀγδόῃ· ἢν κομίσας τοὺς οἰκέτας οἰκέῃ ἐκείνη· ὥστε ὑποδεξάμενον τοὺς λόγους τὸν Πανιώνιον, κομίσαι τὰ τέκνα καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα. Thom. Magist. p. 644. Suid. v. οἰκέται. t. ii. p. 276. b.

119. Etym. Mag. 284. 49.

120. Etym. Mag. 446. 41.

121. Dem. cont. Mid. § 44.

122. Athen. vi. 93.

123. Sch. Aristoph. Plut. 768, with the commentators. Pollux, iii. 77.

124. Cf. Vales. ad Harpocrat. p. 298.

125. Varro, De Re Rust. i. 54. Colum. xii. 40. Cato. 25.

126. See Dioscorid. v. 13.

127. A drink precisely similar, and manufactured in the same manner, is known in the wine districts of France under the name of piquette. Commonly, also, it is there appropriated to the use of the domestics. Among the ancient Egyptians the poor, and, à fortiori, it may be conjectured, the slaves were condemned to rely upon beer for the delights of intoxication. Athen. i. 61.

128. Nevertheless, Trygæos considers it a misfortune to be confined to this kind of food, since he wishes that the armourers, who desire that their trade may flourish, might fall into the hands of robbers, and be dieted on barley-bread:—ληφθεὶς ὑπὸ ληστῶν ἐθίοι κριθὰς μόνας. Pac. Aristoph. 448. Küst. Vid. Schol. 447. But this was to wish them long life and sharp senses, since the longevity and keen sight of the Chaldæans, which enabled them, I suppose, to look into futurity, are chiefly attributed to their bannocks of barley-meal. Luc. Macrob. § 5. Cf. Poll. ii. 353. Thucyd. iii. 49. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 816. We find, from the same scholiast, (Eq. 488.) that barley-dough was designated by a particular term, φύραμα. Cf. Athen. ix. 67.

129. Luc. Quomod. Hist. Sit conscrib. § 20, where the sophist ridicules a slave who, having inherited his master’s property, neglected the dainties set before him, such as poultry, pork, and game, and fell to on the articles of his former diet. Similar traits were exhibited by the French servants, who made great fortunes during the Mississippi scheme. For example, a footman who had enriched himself and purchased a carriage, instead of entering got up behind it. Lord John Russell. Hist. of Europe, t. ii. p. 217.

130. Athen. viii. 15. Servile names were usually brief, as Mida, Phryx, &c. Schol. Arist. Vesp. 433. Cf. Strab. l. vii. t. i. p. 467. a. Casaub.

131. Euripides describes in a few verses the two very different views taken of servitude by the freeman and the slave:

Orest. Δοῦλος ὢν φοβεῖ τὸν Ἄιδην
ὅς σ’ ἀπαλλάξ εκ κακῶν.
Phryx. Πᾶρ’ ἀνὴρ κἂν δοῦλος
ἦι τις ἥδεται τὸ φῶς ὁρῶν.
Orest. 1537, sqq.

The observation of the Phrygian is just; for God, who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, mitigates also the misery of the slave, and enables him to look upon the light with something like joy.

132. Pignor. De Serv. p. 190. In illustration of the fondness of certain persons for animals, it is related, that there was an old lady in Egypt who habitually slept with a crocodile. Plut. Solert. Anim. § 23.

133. De Merced. Conduct. § 34.

134. Pignor. De Serv. p. 190. Athen. i. 20.

135. Macrob. Saturn. ii. 5.

136. Manil. v. p. 117. v. 28. ed. Scalig.

137. Arist. Polit. i. 2. Cf. Dem. adv. Leochar. § 20.

138. Diog. Laert. ix. 10. 60.

139. This Anaxarchos, upon whom complaisant antiquity bestowed the name of philosopher, was in reality nothing but a libertine courtier, whose manners and tastes are thus described by Clearchos of Soli: Τῶν Εὐδαιμονικῶν καλουμένον Ἀναξάρχω διὰ τὴν τῶν χορηγησάντων ἄγνοιαν περιπεσούσης ἐξουσίας, γυμνὴ μὲν ᾠνοχόει παιδίσκη πρόσηβος, ἡ προκριθεῖσα διαφέρειν ὥρᾳ τῶν ἄλλων· ἀνασύρουσα πρὸς ἀλήθειαν τὴν τῶν οὕτως αὐτῇ χρωμένων ἀκρασίαν· ὁ δὲ σιτοποιὸς χειρίδας ἔχων, καὶ περὶ τῷ στόματι κημὸν, ἔτριβέ τὸ σταῖς, ἵνα μηδὲ ἱδρὼς ἐπιῤῥέῃ, μήτε τοῖς φυράμασιν ὁ τρίβων ἐμπνέοι. Athen. xii. 70.

140. Poll. vii. 20. x. 112. Suid. v. παυσικάπη. t. ii. p. 467. b. This and similar practices are noticed by M. Grégoire. “Les anciens mettoient aux esclaves, (v. Fabretti Inscrip. Antiq. Explic. p. 522,) comme on met aux chiens, des colliers ou cercles de fer, sur lesquels étoient gravés les noms, profession et demeure du propriétaire, avec invitation de les ramener à leurs maîtres en cas de fuite. Dans le Supplément aux Antiquités Grecques et Romaines de Poleni, on peut lire diverses inscriptions de ce genre.(Utriusque Thesauri Antiquitatem, etc., nova supplementa, ab J. Poleno, t. iv. p. 1247.)Les colons avoient enchéri sur les anciens en inventions, pour torturer leur semblables: telle est, par example, l’énorme triangle de fer au cou des nègres, pour les empêcher de fuir. Cependant, la coutume de museler les esclaves, de leur cadenasser la bouche afin qu’ils ne puissent se désaltérer en suçant une canne à sucre, n’est qu’une imitation de l’antiquité, car Suidas et Pollux nous apprennent qu’on leur mettoit au cou une machine, nommé pausicape, en forme de roue, qui les empêchoit de porter la main à la bouche et de manger de la farine lorsqu’on les occupoit à tourner la meule.” De la Domesticité chez les Peuples Anciens et Modernes, p. 6. Cf. Pignor. de Servis, p. 15, seq.

141. Pac. 12. seq.

Ἑνὸς μὲν, ὦνδρες, ἀπολελῦσθαί μοι δοκῶ.
Οὐδεις γὰρ ἂν φαίη με μάττοντ᾽ ἐσθίειν.

Upon which the Scholiast remarks: εἰώθασι γὰρ ἅμα τῳ μάρτειν, ἐσθίειν.

142. Athen. viii. 41.

143. Athen. viii. 43.

144. Mention is also made of female porters. Dem. in Ev. et Mnes. § 10.

145. The scene in which Callias’s eunuch-porter is introduced to us is painted in Plato’s liveliest manner. This ancient Bababalouk exhibits all the crabbedness of the keeper of an oriental harem; and as we listen to him bawling at Socrates through the door, we appear to be transported to the establishment of the Emir Fakreddin. Δοκεῖ οὖν μοι, ὁ θυρωρός, εὐνοῦχός τις, κατήκουεν ἡμῶν· κινδυνεύει δὲ διὰ τὸ πλῆθος τῶν σοφιστῶν ἄχθεσθαι γοῦν ἐκρούσαμεν τὴν θύραν, ἀνοίξας καὶ ἰδων ἡμᾶς, Ἔα, ἔφη, σοφισταί τινες· οὐ σχολὴ αὐτῷ. Καὶ ἁμα ἀμφοῖν τοῖν χεροῖν τὴν θύραν πάνυ προθύμως ὡς οἷός τ᾽ ἦν ἐπήραξε. Καὶ ἡμεῖς πάλιν ἐκρούομεν. καὶ ὃς ἐγκεκλῃμένης τῆς θύρας ἀποκρινόμενος εἶπεν, Ὦ ἄνθρωποι, ἔφη, οὐκ ἀκηκόατε ὅτι οὐ σχολὴ αὐτῷ; Ἀλλ᾽ ὠγαθέ, ἔφην ἐγώ, οὔτε παρὰ Καλλίαν ‘ἀλλ᾽ ὠγαθέ,’ ἥκομεν οὔτε σοφισταί ἐσμεν, ἀλλὰ θάῤῥει· Πρωταγόραν γάρ τι δεόμενοι ἰδεῖν ἢλθομεν. εἰσάγγειλον οὖν. Μόγις οὖν ποτὲ ἡμῖν ἄνθρωπος ἀνέωξε τὴν θύραν. Protag. t. i. p. 159, seq.

146. Odyss. υ. 149. Hist. of Greece, i. 186. Cf. Athen. iii. 73.

147. Acharn. 272. The principle on which names were bestowed upon slaves is thus explained by Helladius: οἱ κωμικοὶ τοὺς οἰκέτας τὸ μὲν πλέον ἀπὸ τοῦ γένους κάλουν οἷον Σύρον καρίωνα Μίδαν Γέταν καὶ τὰ ὅμοια, ἐκαλουν δὲ καὶ τὰ ἐξ ἐπιθέτων, ὡς ἀπὸ τοῦ χρώματος μὲν Πυῤῥιαν καὶ Ξανθίαν ἀπὸ τοῦ τρόπου δὲ Παρμένωνα καὶ Πιστὸν καὶ Δρόμωνα. ἐκάλουν δὲ καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς ἡμέρας ἐν ᾗ ὠνήσαντο τὸν οἰκέτην, ἐξ οὗ καὶ τοὺς Νουμηνίας ὠνόμαζον. Chrestomath. ap. Phot. Bib. 532. b. 36, seq. See also the note of Meursius. p. 57.

148. Athen. iv. 29.

149. Rhetoric. ad Heren.

150. Sat. v. 52, seq.

151. Theoph. Char. p. 58, et ad Casaub. loc. p. 329, seq.

152. Συνηκολούθουν δ᾽ αὐτῷ ἄνθρωποι δύο στρωματόδεσμα φέροντες, ἐν δὲ τῷ ἑτέρῳ τούτων, ὁς αὐτος ἔφη, τάλαντον ἐνῆν ἀργυρίου. De Fals. Legat. 31.

153. Demosth. cont. Mid. § 44.

154. Οὐκ ἐξῆν παρὰ τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις ἀργὸν τρέφειν οἰκέτην διόπερ οἱ μὲν αὐλοποιοὺς, οἱ δὲ μαχαιροποιοὺς εἷχον τοὺς δούλους. Μειδίας δὲ τοὺς τοσούτους ἀργοὺς περιάγων, τοὺς τυράννους μιμεῖται, δορυφορούμενος ὑπὸ τῶν οἰκετῶν. Ulp. in Demosth. cont. Mid. § 44. Orat. Att. t. x. p. 225. Here we see the reason why Demosthenes inveighed against Meidias on account of the number of his followers.

155. Ad. Theoph. Char. p. 248.

156. Montaigne, Essais, iv. 224. Athen. iii. 72. Plut. De Adulat. et Amic. § 3.



If we now pass from the consideration of slavery in the comparatively mild form which it assumed in Attica to an examination of the state of the Laconian Helots, we shall discover the spirit which actuated the two governments to present a still broader contrast in this, the lowest stage of its influence, than when operating upon the nobler citizens on the great arena of public life.

Among certain scholars on the continent it appears to be very much the fashion to oppose an invincible scepticism to the testimony of ancient writers, as often as that testimony makes against any theory they desire to establish; and on the subject of the Helots several of the ablest authors among them have adopted an opinion which cannot be supported without annihilating several Greek authors, who, in their opinion, prophesy as awkwardly as Calchas did for the peace of Agamemnon.

Among these the principal is Mr. Müller, from whom I have the misfortune to differ on many points, but without in the least disparaging his ability or his learning, for both of which I entertain the highest respect.[157]

37As, however, he has adopted a very peculiar system in the interpretation of antiquity, which, though plausible and ingenious, seems ill-calculated to lead to truth, I have found it impossible to participate on many important points the views which he maintains, more especially on the subject of the Helots. In fact, with all his talents and sagacity he has chosen rather to become an advocate than an historian, and pushes so far his eagerness to defend his favourite people, as not unfrequently to provoke a smile. In his derivation of the term Helot, however, he is perhaps correct,[158] it being more probable that it should have sprung from an ancient word signifying “The Prisoners” than from the name of the town. In the absence of all testimony we might likewise entertain the conjecture, “that they were an aboriginal race subdued at a very early period, and which immediately passed over as slaves to the Doric conquerors.” But we have 38the weighty authority of Theopompos to oppose to this inference, and the words of this historian[159] attentively considered would lead to the etymology of the name given by Müller:—“having taken them prisoners,” he says, “they called them εἵλωτες.” They were, however, Greeks of the Achaian race, who fell, together with the land, into the power of the new-comers, so that the excuse of only tyrannising over a foreign and half-savage race is wanting to the Spartans, which was the object aimed at by Mr. Müller’s ingenious conjecture.

In considering the condition of the Helots, I shall not affect, with the historian of the Doric race,[160] “to range their political rights and personal treatment,” under separate heads; in the first place because, strictly speaking, they had no political rights, and, secondly, because in the treatment they experienced consists whatever is peculiar in their position. Several of this learned historian’s notions on the Lacedæmonian serfs appear to be in direct contradiction with those of the writers from whom all we know concerning the Helots is obtained. Of this he seems to be conscious, and in the following way endeavours to bring discredit on them; assuming as a settled thing, that the Helots must have possessed political rights, he concludes that they “were doubtless exactly defined by law and custom, though the expressions made use of by ancient authors are frequently vague and ambiguous.”[161] Whether this be the case or not we shall presently see. The remark of Ephoros is, that “they were in a certain point of view public slaves. Their possessor could neither liberate them nor sell them beyond the borders.” On this passage which he quotes,[162] the historian raises a superstructure 39which it will by no means support. “From this,” he says, “it is evident, that they were considered as belonging properly to the state, which, to a certain degree, permitted them to be possessed, and apportioned them out to individuals, reserving to itself the power of enfranchising them.”[163]

The contrary I think is the inference. They were the property of individuals, but the state reserved to itself the right of enfranchising them and preventing their emancipation, lest persons should be found who, like Marcus Porcius, Cato,[164] and the Dutch at the Cape, would sell or give them their liberty when too old to labour. “But to sell them out of the country,” says Mr. Müller, “was not in the power even of the state.” It is true there was an ancient law prohibiting the exportation of 40the Helots,[165] but the same authority which enacted that law could have abrogated it. Had Sparta then chosen to convert her Helots into an article of traffic, who or what was to prevent her? Since she arrogated to herself the right of beating, maiming, and putting them to death,[166] though completely innocent, is it to be supposed that, had it suited her policy, she would have hesitated to sell them? And after all are we quite certain that these unhappy people were not frequently sold into foreign lands? On the contrary, we find, that a regular trade was carried on in female Helots, who were exported into all the neighbouring countries for nurses.[167] Thus it appears that the state both had and exercised the power to convert its serfs into merchandise.

That the males also were not exported like cattle, than which they were far worse treated, was owing simply to the calculation, that it would be more profitable to retain them. For, as the Spartans possessed estates, which personally they never cultivated, the Helots, who equally belonged to them, were stationed throughout the country upon those estates, which it was their business to till for the owners. To live it was of course necessary that they should eat, and therefore a portion of the produce was abandoned to them, according to Tyrtæos,[168] the half, a division which must have borne very hard upon 41them, since their numbers were five times greater than those of the Spartans.[169] However, even in this arrangement, the learned historian discovers something to praise “as this quantity had been definitively settled at a very early period (to raise the amount being forbidden under very heavy imprecations) the Helots were the persons who profited by a good and lost by a bad harvest, which must have been to them an encouragement to industry and good husbandry; a motive which would have been wanting if the profit and loss had merely affected the landlords.”[170] But on the res rusticæ the notions of this writer are somewhat confused. For in another place he remarks that, owing to the “usurpations of the successive conquerors of Peloponnesos, agriculture was kept in a constant state of dependence and obscurity, so that we seldom hear of the improvement of the country, which is a necessary part of the husbandman’s business.” It therefore did not flourish in Laconia. No, says the historian, that is not the conclusion we must come to, for, notwithstanding that we never hear of any improvements in it, “agriculture was always followed with great energy and success!”[171]

There appear to have been instances of Helots becoming comparatively wealthy in spite of the oppressions they endured: but so we have known peasants growing rich in the worst despotisms of the East, and such too was in the middle ages the case with the Jews, notwithstanding the terrible persecutions and cruelties they endured. This fact, therefore, only proves that no pressure of hardship or ill-usage can entirely destroy the elasticity of the spirit; and no doubt, like all slaves, the Helots sought to soften their miseries by the gratification 42which a sense of property procures even in bondage to the sordid mind.[172] “By means of the rich produce of the land, and in part by plunder obtained in war, they collected a considerable property, to the attainment of which almost every access was closed to the Spartans.”[173] But of what value is property to a man who is himself the property of another? Besides, the expression of the historian in this place seems calculated to lead to erroneous conclusions respecting the Spartans, who, so far from being debarred the means of amassing wealth,[174] rose frequently to extraordinary opulence, insomuch that this self-denying community came at length to be the richest in Greece.[175] To assume that the Helots, like the Thessalian Penestæ,[176] enjoyed means of augmenting their possessions superior to those permitted themselves by their masters, is to propagate an error which must vitiate our whole conception of the Lacedæmonian commonwealth.

It is confessed that very little intercourse between the Spartans and the Helots took place, at least in earlier times; for afterwards, when the masters themselves quitted the capital, resided on their estates,[177] and took to husbandry, the link must necessarily 43have been more closely drawn. And this circumstance renders more probable the account transmitted to us of Spartan harshness towards them. Intercommunion would have begotten more humane feelings in the master, more attachment in the slave. For like other men the Spartans felt the influence of intimacy, as is proved by their practice of enfranchising the companions of their childhood. They paid, therefore, an involuntary compliment to their own hearts when they kept the Helots at a distance, that they might be able to tyrannise over them. They could not have resisted the power of close contact, and acted like Messallina, who fled in tears from the room where a man was pleading for his life, lest she should forgive him, whispering as she went to her instrument that the accused must not be suffered to escape nevertheless.[178] However, a certain number of Helots were retained in the city as personal attendants on the Spartans, and there waited at the public tables, and were lent by one person to another,[179] like so many dogs, or oxen; although it seems probable that all the drudgery of the capital was not performed by the Helots alone, but that along with them were associated other classes of domestic slaves,[180] on whose history and condition antiquity 44affords us little or no light. But as the Spartans were constantly making prisoners in their wars with the neighbouring states, which were occasionally restored at the termination of hostilities, we appear to be authorized in concluding, that these captives were commonly reduced to servitude in Laconia, whether employed in household labours,[181] or dispersed among the Helots in the field.

Another service the Helots performed for their masters, which necessarily produced some degree of intimacy, I mean the military service in which they fought and bled by their side.[182] The state was, no doubt, reluctant to admit them among the Hoplitæ, or heavy-armed, where the discipline was rigorous, and their weapons would have placed them on a level with their oppressors. But even this was sometimes hazarded, as in the reinforcements forwarded to Gyleppus, at Syracuse,[183] when six hundred Neodomades and picked Helots were complimented 45with this dangerous distinction. As light troops, however, they almost invariably formed the majority of the Lacedæmonian forces. In other countries, where the subject races were more humanely treated, no fear was entertained at entrusting them with arms. Among the Dardanians, for example, where it was not uncommon for a private individual to possess a thousand slaves, or more, they in time of peace cultivated the land, and in war filled the ranks of the army, their masters serving as officers.[184]

From this circumstance one of two things must be inferred; either that the Dardanians considered them in the light of subjects, as we do the natives of India, where large armies are officered by Englishmen, or that that people understood better than any other in antiquity the art of ruling over men.

Plato, Isocrates, Aristotle, Plutarch, and a number of other writers agree in convicting the Spartans of great barbarity towards their bondsmen, differing, however, as to the degree of that barbarity. But their “philanthropic views”[185] are discarded by the historian, who with the skill of an able pleader, overlooks these great writers, whom he could not treat with so much want of ceremony, to bring forward the picture of Myron of Priene, whose history he denominates a romance, and whose testimony he contumeliously rejects. In order the more completely, as he thinks, to demolish this humble writer he quotes the following passage of his work preserved by Athenæus: “The Helots perform for the Spartans every ignominious service. They are compelled to wear a cap of dog-skin,[186] to bear a covering of sheep-skin, and are severely beaten every year without having committed any fault, in order that they may never forget they are slaves. In addition to this, those amongst them 46who, either by their stature or their beauty, raise themselves above the condition of a slave are condemned to death, and the masters who do not destroy the most manly of them are liable to punishment.”[187] The accusation here made is a serious one, and the apologist naturally feels his indignation kindle against its author. In this state of mind he employs very harsh language, charges Myron with “ignorance and partiality,” and altogether speaks as if he were in possession of facts wherewith to demolish the Prenian’s statement. But has he any? Not a single one. He misunderstands entirely the gist of Myron’s words, in the matter of the dog-skin cap, and then, on the strength of his own error, presumes to accuse him of misrepresentation. It is at the first blush evident that Myron considered the hardship to consist, not in the wearing of the cap, but in being compelled to wear it. Mr. Müller’s examples, consequently, are nothing to the purpose; they simply prove that other people had endured similar hardships, (the mention of Laërtes is superfluous,) nevertheless, without having uttered one syllable to justify his triumph, he proceeds with much self-satisfaction to remark, that “since Myron manifestly misrepresents this circumstance, it is very probable that his other objections are founded in error.”[188]

But the allegations of Myron, as the reader will perceive, remain not only untouched, but more confirmed and established than ever by such a defence. It happens, in fact, that they are true to the letter, and what is more, are by no means the gravest imputation which can be substantiated against the Dorian model-state. We shall proceed, however, step by step examining fairly, and in order, the charges and the defence. Plutarch,[189] whose testimony, 47when favourable, is unhesitatingly accepted, “relates that the Helots were compelled to intoxicate themselves, and perform indecent dances as a warning to the Spartan youth.”[190] Shall we credit Plutarch? No we must not; because “common sense is opposed to so absurd a method of education.” But if everything in history which we may determine to be opposed to common sense were on that account to be rejected, we should make sad inroads upon the domains of antiquity. That which increases the ridicule of the practice is, that from among those same Helots they selected tutors for their younger children,[191] as well as companions, so that in the very article wherein Xenophon[192] discovered the superiority of Lycurgus’s educational system, it was completely on a level with that of the other Greeks, habituating the youth to the intimacy and government of slaves.[193]

48If, however, the relation of Plutarch stood alone, its force would be less, though with no face could we reject it while admitting in other respects his favourable testimony. But from many authors, besides him, it is clear, that to demoralise the Helots was the constant policy of Sparta. Thus when the Thasians brought a number of useless dainties to Agesilaos and his army: “Give them,” said he, “to those Helots, whom it is better to corrupt than ourselves.”[194] Consistently with the same system, and the more completely to debase their minds, they were commanded to sing obscene songs and perform indecent jigs, while the Pyrrhic dance and every warlike lay was forbidden them. In proof of this, it is related, that when the Thebans, under Epaminondas, invaded Laconia, and made prisoners a number of the Helots, they commanded them to sing them some of the songs of Sparta, of Spendon, for example, or Alcman, or Terpander. But the Helots[195] professed their inability, observing, that the acquisition of those lays was forbidden them. In short, to adopt the words of Theopompos, they were at all times cruelly and bitterly treated;[196] deluded, sometimes, from the protection of sanctuary by perjury, and then coolly assassinated in contempt of religion and oaths, as in the case of those 49suppliants who took refuge in the temple of Poseidon at Tænaros.[197]

But all this harsh usage was mild compared with other injuries which the laws of Sparta inflicted on them. The reader will perceive that I am about to speak of the Crypteia, not one feature of which, to my mind, has been softened or explained away, or rendered doubtful by the ingenious but very useless special pleading of some distinguished scholars among our contemporaries.[198] Mr. Müller, with much intrepidity, leads the van of Sparta’s defenders, and, by an artifice not unfamiliar to rhetoricians, seeks to beat down the authorities on which belief in the Crypteia rests. He affects to think slightingly of their means of obtaining information, though certainly, in this respect, at least, the very meanest of them possessed incalculable advantages over himself. However, of Isocrates he thus unceremoniously disposes: “Isocrates speaks of this institution in a very confused manner and from mere report.”[199] On the contrary, this “old man eloquent,” as Milton affectionately terms him, luminously, (would that Mr. Müller and I possessed equal art!) and upon the best authorities,[200] sketches the history of the Lacedæmonian government, its injustice, its oppressions; 50and concludes by describing the annual massacre of the Helots. It is worthy of remark, that, with Aristotle,[201] he attributes to the Ephori the direction of this servile war, in which the reins of slaughter were loosed or tightened by their authority.

The relation, however, of Isocrates, who probably descended to particulars, appears not to have come down to us entire. Plutarch, though he be the panegyrist, rather than the faithful historian, of Sparta, has supplied the deficiency. He does so, indeed, reluctantly; trumpets in the narration with epic flourishes, seeking, by all the art he is master of, to shield his beloved Lycurgus from the stern but deserved rebuke of Plato.[202] Too honest, however, was the old Bœotian entirely to suppress the truth. So that, at length, after much preparation, the massacre is described hurriedly, briefly, with vehement unwillingness, but, for that very reason, with the more terrible effect.

Having enumerated the regulations affecting the free citizens, “In these,” he says, “there is no trace of that injustice and griping ambition which some object to the institutions of Lycurgus, considering them well adapted to beget bravery though not honest principles. It was probably the institution of the Crypteia (if as Aristotle contends, it proceeded from Lycurgus) that inspired Plato with such an opinion of the legislator and his laws. According to this ordinance the rulers, selecting from among the youths those most distinguished for ability, sent them forth armed with daggers and furnished with the necessary provisions, to 51scour the country, separating and concealing themselves in unfrequented places by day, but issuing out at night and slaughtering all such of the Helots as they found abroad. Sometimes, indeed, they fell upon them while engaged in their rural labours in the fields, and there cut off the best and bravest of the race.”[203] Plutarch felt that connected with this system, as flowing from the same principle of policy and designed to effect the same purpose, were those extensive massacres recorded in history, by one of which more than two thousand of those unhappy men, having been insidiously deluded into the assertion of sentiments conformable to the gallant actions they had performed in the service of the state,[204] were removed in a day. Lulled by the gift of freedom, crowned, smiled upon, they were conducted to the temples, as if to implicate the very gods in the treachery:—and then suddenly they disappeared; nor to this hour has the fate which overtook them been revealed.[205] Compared with this the slaughter of the Janisaries appears less culpable.

But had Sparta no apology to offer, for these actions, to humanity? Her rulers discovered one which appears to have satisfied their own consciences. Every year, on taking office, the Ephori, formally, in their good city of Sparta, declared war against their unarmed and unhappy vassals, “that they might be massacred under pretence of law.”[206] Mr. Müller 52overwhelmed with the weight of these testimonies, does not yet yield up the point: “Were not these Helots, who in many districts lived entirely alone, united by despair for the sake of common protection; and did they not every year kindle a most bloody and determined war throughout the whole of Laconia?” The historian is pleasant upon the Helots. Kindle a war! How happens it that the Chinese, who, at many periods of their history, have rivalled the Helots in suffering, and like them, too, have rebelled occasionally, yet make annually no “bloody and determined war” against the Mantchoo Tartars? The answer is written on every page of the history of the world, and was put in form by Alexander when he inquired whether one butcher were afraid of many sheep? Nevertheless, even the spirit of slavery itself did sometimes revolt against oppression and cruelty, and kindled such “bloody and determined wars” as Sparta, without foreign aid, was unable to terminate. They were, in fact, during many years, prevented from disputing with the Athenians the supremacy in Greece, by contests with their own vassals.[207] And on the occasion of the great earthquake when nearly every house in Sparta was shaken to the ground,[208] did not the Helots rejoice at the calamity, and come flocking to the environs of the city from the whole country round, in order to put an end to their tyrants as they were escaping in terror from their tottering habitations? Revolt, then, was not unfamiliar to the Helots—again and again was the standard of freedom unfurled[209]—and the day, though late, at length came, when the Spartan saw his slave placed on a level with himself.[210]

To render credible this sketch of cruelty, the character and education of the Spartans must be kept in view:


Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos,

was not their maxim.[211] They loved to trample on the fallen. Even in boyhood and among themselves, they practised gouging as an accomplishment, and as an Athenian did music—as a necessary consequence, even the writers most favourable to their state, confess them to have been brutal, inhuman, perfidious.[212] Nor among a people so ignorant, so prejudiced, so narrow-minded, whose understandings were possibly incapable of comprehending the idea of justice or liberality, can we altogether wonder at such an outbreak of barbarism. Men have been known in modern times to shoot slaves for their amusement; a king of France has been known from the same motive to shoot his subjects, and a learned professor,[213] not very remarkable for cruelty, 54has pronounced the panegyric of that king. There is nothing, therefore, at all incredible in the Spartan Crypteia, which exactly harmonizes with all we know of the nation.

An attempt, however, has been made to explain the whole away, by the unauthorized inference, that in the casual glance which Megillos, in the laws of Plato, makes at this institution, we have a complete description of it in all its features. But very far is this from being the case. The Spartan interlocutor is there making out a defence of his own country, and consequently alludes only to such points as appear capable of a favourable interpretation. Of course he is careful to keep the massacre of the Helots in the back-ground; and merely says, “There is also amongst us what is called the Crypteia, the pain of undergoing which is scarcely credible. It consists in going barefoot in storms, in enduring the privations of the camp, performing menial offices without a servant, and wandering night and day through the whole country.”[214] This is the picture of a Spartan, dwelling on his own hardships; which, however, must have been endured for some purpose, and what was that? If exercise and military seasoning were alone aimed at, where was the necessity for that concealment, that lying in ambush, which the word itself signifies? It is well known that the Helots were a constant terror to their masters—that whenever occasion offered, they revolted—whenever any enemy to the state presented himself, they joined him—that they fled whenever flight was possible—and were, it is confessed, so numerous and so bold, that Sparta was compelled, in treaties with foreign states, to stipulate “for aid against her own subjects.”[215] What more probable, therefore, under the circumstances, 55than the institution of the Crypteia? What more in harmony with the genius of the people?

There can be no doubt that on certain extraordinary occasions these chief of slaves obtained their freedom from the state; but that any “legal way to liberty and citizenship stood open to them,”[216] does not appear.[217] The chain of “probabilities” by which this conclusion is attempted to be arrived at is perfectly unique, and would lead with equal force to any other whatever. “The many intermediate steps, it is said, seem to prove the existence of a regular mode of transition from the one rank to the other.” It has not, however, been proved that there were any intermediate steps; and the very attempt is based almost wholly on a fragment of that Myron of Priene, whose Messenian History Mr. Müller denominates a romance, and whose “partiality and ignorance” he considers so self-evident but a few passages back.

1. The Helots who were esteemed worthy of an “especial confidence were called ἀργεῖοι.”[218] This however, is no intermediate step, as it is not said that their being thus called was necessarily followed by any result.

2. The ἐρυκτῆρες enjoyed the same “(especial confidence) in war.”[219] On points of this kind it is necessary to rely on some authority, and the historian adduces none.[220] It has, indeed, been conjectured, 56from the derivation of their name, that this class of freedmen served as a body-guard to their former masters. Positively, however, nothing whatever is known of their condition.

3. The ἀφέται were, probably, released from “all service.” The expression of Eustathius[221] is, “being made free, they were called aphetæ.”

4. “The δεσποσιοναύται,[222] who served in the fleet, resembled, probably, the freedmen of Attica, who were called the out-dwellers.”[223] This phrase is calculated to convey an erroneous impression, as though these freedmen necessarily took up their quarters in the country, whereas οἱ χωρὶς οἰκούντες merely signifies persons who have establishments of their own. With respect to the Desposionautæ, they would appear to have been slaves brought up in their masters’ houses, and afterwards enfranchised, and ordered to be employed about the fleet.

5. “When they (the Helots) received their liberty, they also obtained permission to dwell where they wished, and, probably, at the same time, a portion of land was granted to them without the lot of their former masters.” This is drawing a general inference from a particular case. Thucydides,[224] the authority relied on, speaks only of those Helots who having served in Thrace under Brasidas, obtained enfranchisement on their return, together with a portion of the lands recently taken from the Lepreatæ. On other occasions, as the whole of Laconia and Messenia had been divided among the citizens, it is difficult to understand whence the state could have obtained lands to bestow. The probability, therefore, is, that they bestowed none.

Of the Neodamodes or “new citizens,” our knowledge is little less scanty than of the other classes of freedmen. That they were enfranchised Helots 57is confidently maintained by several learned writers, though others suppose them to have been the sons of enfranchised Helots.[225] This latter supposition, however, is inconsistent with the testimony of Myron, who observes, that “the Lacedæmonians often emancipated their slaves, some of whom were then called aphetæ, others adespotæ, others eructeres, others desposionautæ; there were others whom they denominated neodamodes, different from the Helots.”[226] Of those modern writers who have treated of the Spartan institutions, some elude the discussion altogether, while others acquiescing in the commonly received opinion contend, that the Neodamodes were those Helots who, having conducted themselves gallantly in war, had for some time enjoyed their freedom. But this decision, however plausible it may seem, is by no means satisfactory. For, wherever Thucydides, or any other historian of authority, has occasion to mention this class of freedmen, they appear to be carefully distinguished from the enfranchised Helots. Thus, when the companions of Brasidas, before spoken of, had received their freedom, and were sent as settlers into the Lepreatis, it is added, that they were accompanied by a number of Neodamodes.[227] But if this term signified nothing 58more than Helots who had been rewarded with liberty, in what did they differ from the other Helots who had likewise been made free? One learned commentator,[228] not without ingenuity, infers that they were a class of tributary subjects inhabiting the neighbourhood of the capital, on whom the right of citizenship had been conferred, though they did not enjoy perfect equality with the elder citizens. But, as it is distinctly stated, that they were enfranchised slaves, we are compelled to abandon even this hypothesis, and seek to discover some other clue to the truth.

It has already been observed, that the Spartans appear to have possessed numbers of slaves properly so called, besides their oppressed and miserable bondsmen, with whom they seem often to have been confounded. These, by being more constantly about their masters, were, doubtless, able to gain more upon their affections, and could not possibly be viewed with equal dread, since they were necessarily brought together from various countries, and connected consequently by no bond of union. As often, therefore, as the state required a fresh supply of citizens, it is from among these that they appear to have been selected; and that, too, in numbers so considerable, that Agesilaos, on one occasion, was enabled to select two thousand to attend him on an expedition wherein he was accompanied by only thirty Spartans.[229]

Another class of persons[230] commonly ranked among the Laconian slaves were the Mothaces,[231] to determine 59whose origin, rank, and condition, appears to be a matter of no small difficulty. That they never, during the flourishing ages of the commonwealth, formed any part of the servile caste may be regarded as certain, whatever may be found to the contrary in the grammarians of later times. For the Mothaces, observes Athenæus, though not Lacedæmonians, were free. And to the same purpose speaks Philarchos, whose words are: “The Mothaces were the brotherlike companions of the Lacedæmonians. For every youthful citizen, according to his means, chose one, two, or more of these to be brought up along with him; and, notwithstanding that they enjoyed not the rank of citizens, they were free, and participated in all the advantages of the national education. It is even said that Lysander, who defeated the Athenians at sea, was one of this class of men, but raised to the rank of citizen for his valour.”[232] To the same section of the Laconian population belonged also Callicratidas and Gylippos,[233] a circumstance which of itself appears completely to overthrow the hypothesis of those who derive the Mothaces directly from the Helots; for Cleandridas, the father of Gylippos,[234] was chosen to accompany King Pleistoanax, as chief of his councillors, during an expedition into Attica, an honour which would not, I imagine, have been conferred upon a Helot. Again, Lysander, whom by one authority we are taught to regard as a Mothax, is by another spoken of not barely as a Spartan, but as descended from the Heracleidæ.[235]

60How then are we to reconcile these seeming contradictions? Probably by supposing, that the Mothaces consisted, first of the sons of such Spartans as were too poor to defray the expenses of their maintenance and education,[236] which seems to have been the case with Aristocritos, the father of Lysander, whose early indigence is celebrated; secondly of bastard Spartans, who it is well known shared the education of their legitimate brethren; and thirdly, of the sons of persons of rank and distinction among the Periœci. To these perhaps, in very late times, the sons of favourite slaves born in the house may have been added, though there is no ground for believing that this was habitually the case in the earlier ages. Be this, however, as it may, it seems to be quite evident, that Lycurgus laid much less stress on “birth and blood” than on that steadiness and patience of toil which are the first qualities of a soldier. Whoever from childhood upward gave proof of these, by submitting unmurmuringly to the rigorous trial he enjoined the youth of Sparta, was elevated in the end to the rank of a citizen, while they who shrunk from the severity of his discipline, according to some even though they had descended from the blood royal, sunk into a state of degradation or were even confounded with the Helots.[237] Foreigners who enjoyed the privileges of this system of instruction 61received among the Lacedæmonians the name of Trophimoi.

Of the Epeunactæ, a peculiar class of freedmen, we have the following curious account: Having in the Messenian war lost a number of Spartans, the government began to apprehend that the enemy might discover its weakness; to conceal which a Helot was substituted in the place of every fallen warrior. Shortly afterwards these men were raised to the rank of citizens and denominated Epeunactæ, because they occupied the beds (εὐναι) of other men.[238]

But wherever men are base-minded there will be slaves; and accordingly we find that, in all other parts of Greece, no less than at Sparta, this miserable class existed for the performance of servile drudgery. Posidonios, the Stoic,[239] observes, that persons lacking sense to provide for themselves, voluntarily became the slaves of any who would take care of them. Thus the Maryandinians submitted to the citizens of Heraclea,[240] to be their perpetual serfs, stipulating only that they should always be furnished with the necessaries of life, and on no account be sold out of the country. They were in fact simply tributaries, as is implied in the verse of Euphorion, the epic poet,

“Gift-bearers called, who cower before their chiefs.”[241]

This appellation of Gift-bearers—though their gifts, like the royal benevolences of our ancestors, were extorted from them—was no doubt however invented, as Callicratos[242] observes, to disguise the true nature 62of their condition. Besides engaging in agricultural labours, they likewise served on board ship, and consequently contributed greatly to increase the commerce and naval power of Heraclea.[243]

The Thessalians denominated Penestæ,[244] not those who were born in servitude, but persons who were made captive in war. They were sometimes also known by the name of Thettaloiketes. Archemachos, in his History of Eubœa, affords illustration of a very curious point of ancient history mentioned briefly but with some variation, by Thucydides.[245] According to him, certain Bœotians migrating northward, founded Arnæa in Thessaly; after which some returned to Bœotia, while, delighted with the land, others remained, and became the voluntary villains of the Thessalians. Here, however, as elsewhere in like cases, it was stipulated that they should neither be put to death nor sold beyond the borders; while on their part they agreed to cultivate the land and pay the requisite tribute.[246] On this account they were called Menestæ,[247] that is “those who remain,” which appellation was by degrees corrupted into Penestæ. Of these serfs many were richer than their masters. Euripides,[248] in his “Phryxas,” observes, 63moreover, that they were sometimes of very ancient families. Thucydides, on the other hand, represents them to have been the original inhabitants of Arnè, driven thence by the Thessalians sixty years after the Trojan war, though a portion of the nation had long before settled in Bœotia and joined in the expedition against Troy.[249]

A state of things not greatly dissimilar[250] prevailed in Crete, where the servile caste was divided into several classes: first, those of the cities, called Chrysonetæ, or “bought with gold,” who were doubtless barbarians; second, those of the country, who received the name of Aphamiotæ,[251] from their being bound to the Aphamiæ, or estates of the landed gentry. These were the aboriginal tribes of the island reduced to servitude by a nation of foreign conquerors. They were sometimes likewise denominated Clarotæ,[252] from their having been divided among the conquerors by κλᾶρος, or lot; or, according to others, from their being located on the lots of the citizens which were called κλᾶροι.[253] In condition, the Aphamiotæ resembled the Helots,[254] and differed from the peasantry, or Hypekooi,[255] in much the same degree as the purchased private slaves of the Turks differ from their rayahs, or subjects. These are habitually protected from being sold out of the country; though in cases of revolt the captives are reduced to the level of the common slaves, and sold like cattle. Thus the markets of Egypt were crowded with Cretans after the late revolt against Mohammed Ali. 64Third, there existed in every state in Crete a class of public bondsmen denominated Mnoia or Mnoa, because reduced to that condition by Minos.[256] These serfs cultivated the public lands, upon what conditions is not exactly known: it merely appears that they were compelled to furnish the body of the citizens a certain sum of money, together with a part of their flocks and herds and agricultural produce.[257] That they were sufficiently numerous and powerful to inspire their masters with dread, is evident from the regulation by which they were excluded from the gymnasia, and prohibited the use of arms.

Besides these, there was another class of the Cretan population which must by no means be confounded with the slaves or serfs,—I mean, the Hypekooi.[258] These were the inhabitants of the smaller towns who had lost their political independence, but were permitted the use of arms, and allowed to frequent the public places of exercise, like the nobler citizens.[259]

In the city of Cydonia, during certain festivals of Hermes, the slaves were left masters of the place, into which no free citizen had permission to enter; and if he infringed this regulation it was in their power to chastise him with whips.[260] In other parts of Crete customs similar to those of the Roman Saturnalia prevailed; for, while the slaves in the Hermæan festival were carousing and taking their ease, their lords, travestied into domestics, waited upon them at table, and performed, in their stead, all other menial offices. Something of the same kind took place during the month Gerœstion, at Trœzen, where the citizens feasted their slaves on one day of the great annual festival, and played at dice with them.[261] Among the Babylonians, moreover, we 65find a similar custom; for, during the Sacæan festival, which lasted five days, and was celebrated in the month of August,[262] the owners waited on their slaves, one of whom, habited in a royal robe, enacted the part of king.

Upon the whole it may be inferred, that the treatment and condition of the Cretan serfs were milder than in any other Doric state, though it would be incorrect to decide,[263] that they were less oppressed than in any other state in all Greece, since we discover in the song of Hybrias traces not to be mistaken of their abject state:

Great riches have I in my spear and sword,
And hairy shield, like a rampart thrown
Before me in war; for by these I am lord
Of the fields where the golden harvests are grown;
And by these I press forth the red red wine,
While the Mnotæ around salute me king;
Approaching, trembling, these knees of mine,
With the dread which the spear and the faulchion bring.[264]

The Periœci of Crete are said never to have revolted against their masters; but this arose, as Aristotle observes, from the circumstance that every state having serfs of the same kind, it was not for the interest of any one in their wars to set their bondsmen a bad example by enticing any to join in those struggles.[265]. The Penestæ of Thessaly, and the Helots, often joined the enemy, because the neighbouring states possessed no similar serfs. But, in the case of the Cretan Periœci, the circumstance already noticed of their not being allowed to frequent the gymnasia,[266] or possess arms, will account satisfactorily for their perseverance in the ancient manners, without supposing in them any preference for those manners, which, as they were deprived of 66all the privileges of citizens, they could scarcely have felt.[267]

Respecting the servile classes in other Grecian states our information is very scanty: we simply know that the serfs of the Syracusans were denominated Killicyrii,[268] and exceedingly numerous, so that “more in number than the Killicyrii,” became a proverb. They would seem to have dwelt chiefly in the country like the Cretan Mnotæ. In process of time, however, their multitude inspired them with courage; they assaulted and drove out their masters, and, fortune favouring their enterprise, retained possession of Syracuse. Among several of the Italian states, the subject classes were known by the name of Pelasgi. The people of Rhodes reduced and kept in bondage the inhabitants of Caunos, and the celebrated painter Protogenes[269] was the son of one of these bondsmen.

In the same relation stood the Bithynians to the people of Byzantium; the Leleges to the Carians, and the Katanocophori to the people of Sicyon.[270] These last would seem to have been originally[271] merely the rustic population deprived of their freedom by the tyrants, who compelled them to affect a mean and squalid appearance, and to wear sheepskin cloaks,[272] that they might be ashamed to frequent the city, where they would have been exposed to the laughter and insults of the rabble.

The corresponding class among the Arcadians, denominated 67Prospelatæ[273] were said to have amounted to three hundred thousand in number. Their treatment was probably more lenient than in many other parts of Greece, as we find them on public festivals sitting down at table with their masters, like our old farm-servants, eating of the same food, and drinking from the same cup.[274]

157. When the words in the text were written Mr. Müller was still living, and there was every reason to expect from him a series of learned and able works on the history and antiquities of Greece. He has since, however, fallen a victim to the persevering ardour with which he pursued his researches into the topography of that illustrious land; and in common, I believe, with every other admirer of the Hellenic people and literature I sincerely lament his premature death. My regret moreover is heightened by the knowledge that Mr. Muller had projected a history of Greece which his profound investigations and extensive knowledge of the country would unquestionably have rendered highly valuable. His ashes repose among those of the most distinguished men of antiquity. He caught his death among the ruins of Delphi, and was buried at Athens.

158. Dorians, t. ii. p. 30. Cf. t. i. p. 86, seq. Nevertheless the Scholiast on Thucydides maintains the old derivation:—Ἕλος, πόλις τῆς Λακωνικῆς, ἧς οἱ πολίται ἐκαλοῦντο Εἵλωτες. Οἱ οὖν Λακεδαιμόνιοι, διὰ τὸ ἀεὶ διαφόρους εἶναι ἀλλήλοις, τοὺς δούλους αὐτῶν ἐκάλουν Εἵλωτας, κατὰ ἀτιμίαν καὶ ὕβριν. t. v. p. 350. Cf. Clint. Fast. Hellen. ii. 412. Etymol. Mag. 300. 7. 332. 51. They were called also Heliatæ. Athen. vi. 102. Cf. Poll. vii. 83. Ἕλος πόλις Λακονική. οἱ πολίται εἵλωτες καὶ εἱλῶται, καὶ ἕλιοι, καί ἑλεάται. ἔστι δὲ καὶ Ἕλος Αἰγύπτου. ταῦτα δὲ ὁ τὰ ἐθνικὰ γραψας, εἰς τὸ ἕτερον Ἕλος λέγει τὸ ἐν τοῖς ἐφεξῆς ὑπὸ τὸν Νέστορα. ἕτεροι δὲ ὅτι οὐ μόνον πόλις τὸ Ἕλος ἀλλὰ καὶ εἰς χώραν τινὰ πλατύνεται. ἀφ’ ἧς καὶ μᾶλλον οἱ ἕιλωτες. οἱ συνελθόντες τοῖς Μεσσηνίοις, ἦν ὅτε καὶ πράγματα παρασχόντες τοῖς Λακεδαιμονίοις, εἶτα ὑπετάγησαν ὡσεὶ δοῦλοι. καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν τὸ ὄνομα τῶν εἱλώτων εῖς δουλικὴν ἀπλῶν μετελήφθη κλῆσιν. Eustath. ad Il. β. p. 223. 28, sqq. Ἐν γοῦν τοῖς Ἡρωδιανοῦ, εὓρηται ὅτι εἵλωτες οἱ ἐπὶ Ταινάρῳ σάτυροι. Idem, ad Il. β. b. 225, 17. Cf. Capperonier Recherches sur l’Histoire des Hilotes. Mem. de L’Acad. des Inscrip. t. xxiii. p. 272.

159. Theopomp. l. xvii. ap. Athen. vi. 88. Cf. Strab. viii. 5. t. ii. p. 188.

160. Hist. and Antiq. of the Dorians, t. ii. p. 31.

161. Dorians, ii. 31.

162. Or rather makes up from two or three disjecta membra of Ephoros. Strab. viii. 5. t. ii. p. 188, seq. Cf. Paus. iii. 20. 6.

163. Dorians, t. ii. p. 31. Ubbo Emmius takes the same view of the subject. iii. 138.

164. Καὶ τούτους (sc. δούλους) πρεσβυτέρους γενομένους (observes Plutarch, Vit. Cat. Maj. § 4.) ᾤετο δεῖν ἀποδίδοσθαι, καὶ μὴ βόσκειν ἀχρήστους. But what Cato practised he approved of theoretically, and in his works recommends to others; servum senem, servum morbosum, vendat, De Re Rustica, 2. He would also have the agriculturist dispose of his old oxen and everything else that was old. Vendat boves, vetulos, ferramenta vetera, &c. id. ibid. Upon which Plutarch in a fine spirit of humanity observes, Ἐγὼ μὲν οὖν οὐδὲ βοῦν ἂν ἐργάτην διὰ γῆρας ἀποδοιμην, μή τί γε πρεσβυτέρον ἄνθρωπον, ἐκ χώρας συντρόφου καὶ διαίτης συνήθους, ὥσπερ ἐκ πατρίδος, μεθιστάμενον ἀντὶ κερμάτων μικρῶν, ἄχρηστόν γε τοῖς ὠνουμένοις, ὥσπερ τοῖς πιπράσκουσι, γεγενημένον. Vit. Cat. Maj. § 5. For what concerns the Dutch we have the testimony of Le Vallant: “On rencontre des Négresses légitimement mariées, et des Nègres établis faisant corps avec la bourgeoisie; ce sont des hommes qui, par leurs services ou d’autres motifs ont été affranchis; la facilité avec laquelle on leur donnait la liberté était autrefois sujette à bien des abus, parce que ces gens, devenus vieux ou infirmes, ou privés de resources pour subsister, finissaient par être des voleurs ou des vagabonds. Le gouvernement s’est trouvé forcé d’y mettre ordre; nul maître à présent ne peut affranchir son esclave qu’en déposant à la chambre des orphelins une somme suffisante pour sa subsistance.” Voyage dans l’Intérieur de l’Afrique, t. i. p. 112.

165. Ephor. ap. Strab. viii. 5. t. ii. p. 189.

166. Over the Helots, not the state only but even private individuals, and much more the kings, possessed the power of life and death. Thus a Helot behaving offensively to Charillos, he said: “I would kill thee were I not in a passion.” Plut. Apophthegm. Lacon. Charill. 3.

167. Plut. Alcib. § 1. Καὶ τῶν ἔξωθεν ἕνιοι τοῖς τέκνοις Λακωνικὰς ἐωνοῦντο τιτθάς· καὶ τήν γε τὸν Ἀθηναῖον Ἀλκιβιάδην τιτθεύσασαν Ἀμύκλαν ἱστοροῦσι γεγονέναι Λάκαινον. Lycurg. § 16. Cf. Ages. § 3.

168. Franck. Callin. et Tyrt. p. 193. In Attica the θῆτες, paid a sixth of the produce to the Eupatridæ, whose land they rented. Plut. in Sol. § 13. But this it should be remarked was considered one of the oppressive acts of the aristocracy. Ælian gives precisely the same account as Tyrtæos, (Var. Hist. vi. 1,) where see the note of Perizonius. Cf. Crag. De Rep. Laced. l. i. c. 11. p. 71.

169. Herod. ix. 28. They were in fact far more numerous in proportion to the citizens than anywhere else in Greece, and next to them in number were the slaves of the Chians. Thucyd. viii. 40. Cf. Clint. Fast. Hellen. t. ii. p, 411.

170. Dorians, i. 32.

171. Dorians, i. 86.

172. Herod. ix. 80. Plut. Cleom. § 23.

173. Dorians, ii. 32.

174. Cf. Herm. Polit. Antiq. § 47.

175. Χρυσίον δὲ καὶ ἀργύριον οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν πᾶσιν Ἕλλησιν ὅσον ἐν Λακεδαίμονι ἰδία. Plut. Alcib. i. t. v. p. 342.

176. Καὶ ἐκλήθησαν τότε μὲν, μενέσται ὕστερον δὲ πενέσται. καὶ πολλοὶ δὲ τῶν κυρίων αὐτῶν εἰσὶν εὐπορώτεροι. Eustath. ad Il. ν. t. ii. p. 933. 48.

177. Xenoph. Hellen. iii. 3. 5. Arist. Polit. ii. 2. 11. Pollux, upon I know not what ground, observes, μεταξὺ δὲ ἐλευθέρων καὶ δούλων οἱ Λακεδαίμονιων Εἵλωτες. iii. 83. Upon which Jungermann observes, “Ingenue fateor me non satis capere quare Pollux Helotas medios inter liberos et servos dicat:” in loc. p. 570. Cf. Crag. De Rep. Lac. i. 11. This difficulty Capperonier undertakes to remove, “Les Lacédémoniens mettoient une différence entre les Hilotes et leurs esclaves domestiques nommés οἰκέται; quoiqu’ils eussent tous deux une origine commune, les derniers étoient tombés dans un tel avilissement qu’ils n’avoient aucune sorte de considération; de la vient que Pollux dit que les Hilotes tenoient le milieu entre les gens libres et les esclaves. Les esclaves domestiques avoient un rapport plus particulier au maître, et n’étoient employés qu’eux choses du ménage, comme leur nom même l’exprime. C’étoient eux que les Lacédémoniens forçoient de boire jusqu’à s’enivrer, et qu’ils offroient dans cet état aux yeux des jeunes gens pour leur inspirer l’horreur d’un vice qui dégrade l’humanité: peut-être excusera-t-on la conduite des Lacédémoniens par l’attention particulière qu’ils donnoient à l’éducation de leurs enfans. Mais comment justifier la cruauté qu’ils avoient de les obliger à recevoir tous les ans un certain nombre de coups sans les avoir mérités, seulement afin qu’ils ne desappressent pas à servir?” Capperonier, Recherches sur l’Histoire et l’Esclavage des Hilotes. Mem. De l’Acad. Des Inscrip. t. xxiii. p. 282, seq.

178. Tacit. Annal. xi. 2.

179. Xen. Rep. Lac. vi. 3. Arist. Polit. ii. 2. 5. Plut. Institut. Lac. 23.

180. Their personal attendants for instance were called μοθῶνες , Suid. in v. ii. 175, and even born in the house like the Oikotribes of the other Greeks. Etym. Mag. 590. 14. According to Harpocration, (in v. p. 128,) they were slaves educated with the free boys at Sparta. The conjecture of Maussac, however, is, that they were male nurses like Phœnix in the Iliad. Similes forte hi fuerint Pappatibus, de quibus Juvenalis, aut gerulis, quos scholiastes Sophocles in Ajace Flagellifero βαϊούλους dictos refert id est baiulos: ut hodie Itali dicunt balio et balia. Not. p. 218.

181. To this class probably belonged the θεράποντες of Demaratos, mentioned by Herodotus, vi. 70, though Mr. Müller conjectures them to have been Helots. Dorians, t. ii. p. 31.

182. On this point the remark of Capperonier is ingenious: “On les voit rarement (les Lacédémoniens) se mettre en campagne sans eux; (les Hilotes;) la politique l’exigeoit; que n’auroient-ils pas en à craindre si, les contenant à peine lorsqu’ils étoient chez eux, ils les y eussent laissés seuls en leur absence?” Recherches sur les Hilotes, Mem. de l’Acad. Des Inscrip. t. xxiii. p. 285.

183. Thucyd. vii. 19. Cf. v. 57. 64. iv. 80. They were sometimes entrusted with important commands on foreign stations, which by the free confederates of Sparta, however, was regarded as an insult: ἀλλὰ τοὺς μὲν εἴλωτας ἁρμοστὰς, observes the Theban ambassador at Athens, καθιστάναι ἀξιοῦσι, τῶν δὲ ξυμμάχων ἐλευθέρων ὄντων, ἐπεὶ εὐτύχησαν, δεσπόται ἀναπεφῄνασιν. Xenoph. Hellen. iii. 5. 12.

184. Athen. vi. 103.

185. Dorians, ii. 38.

186. On this cap see Meursius, Miscell. Lacon. l. i. c. 17. p. 79.

187. Athen. xiv. 74. Cf. Schol. Arist. Nub. 269. In the matter of food the slaves were in war reduced to live on half the quantity allowed their masters. Thucyd. iv. 16.

188. Dorians, ii. 39.

189. Lycurg. § 28. To this may be added the testimony of Demetrius Cydonius: φασὶ καὶ, Λακεδαιμονίους τῇ τῶν Εἱλώτων μέθῃ τοῖς πασὶν ὑποδεικνύναι τὸ τῆς νήψεως ἀγαθον. ap. Meurs. Miscell. Lacon. 11. 6. p. 128.

190. Dorians, ii. 39.

191. Mr. Müller’s argument is put in the form of a question: “Is it possible that the Spartans should have so degraded the men whom they appointed as tutors over their young children?” Dorians, ii. 39.

192. De Rep. Laced. ii. 1.

193. Plut. Vit. Ages. § 3. The evils of this intercourse are constantly dwelt upon by the ancients: ὅπου οἰκέτης ἐστιν, εὐθὺς διαφθείρονται οἱ γεγνόμενοι παῖδες. Dion Chrysost. Orat. t. i. p. 299. Cf. Orat. 41. t. ii. p. 261. Though it be most true that domestic slaves are generally corrupt in manners and ignoble in sentiments, yet we may be sure from an attentive observation, of human nature, that, even were it not so, their masters would inevitably seek to justify their own cruelty and injustice by depreciating the moral character of their dependents. Thus the ablest of Spanish writers, actuated less perhaps by theory than by instinct, strives to extenuate the conduct of their countrymen towards the natives of America by attributing to them the most odious and repulsive qualities: “Les Indiens,” observes Ulloa, “sont moins à craindre par leur valeur que par leur perfidie, et par la ruse avec laquelle ils commettent leur attentats. Victorieux par surprise, ils sont cruels à l’excès, ne connaissent aucun sentiment de compassion. Leur cruauté est toujours accompagnée de sang froid, leur plaisir est le carnage; mais vaincus ce sont les gens le plus lâches les plus pusillanimes qu’on puisse voir. Dans le premier cas ils ont un souverain plaisir à répandre le sang des malheureux qu’ils surprennent au dépourvu, dans le second ils cherchent à se disculper s’humilient jusqu’à la dernière bassesse, condamnent euxmêmes leur furie, prient, supplient, et se montrent dans toute leur conduite les plus lâches des hommes. Ce contraste est celui qui doit résulter de la lâcheté et de la perfidie qui font le charactère de ces barbares.” Mémoires Philosophiques. Discours. xvii. t. ii. p. 21, et seq.

194. Theopomp. ap. Athen. xiv. 74.

195. Plut. Vit. Lycurg. § 28. On their cruelty and perfidy towards the same unhappy men see Ælian. Var. Hist. vi. 1. Polyæn. i. 41. 3.

196. Critias, in fact, observes, that, as the freemen of Sparta were of all men the most free, so were the serfs of Sparta of all slaves the most slavish. Liban. Declam. xxiv. t. ii. p. 83, seq. Reiske.

197. Theopomp. ap. Athen. vi. 102 Ὅτε οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι τοὺς ἐκ Ταινάρου ἱκέτας παρασπονδήσαντες ἀνέστησαν καὶ ἀπέκτειναν, (ἦσαν δὲ οἰκέται τῶν Εἱλώτων) κατὰ μῆνιν τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος σεισμὸς ἐπιπεσὼν τῇ Σπάρτη, τὴν πόλιν ἀνδρειότατα κατέσεισεν, ὡς πέντε μόνας ἀπολειφθῆναι οἰκίας ἐξ ἁπάσης τῆς πόλεως. Æl. Var. Hist. vi. 7. Thucyd. i. 128. Suid. v. Ταινάριον. t. ii. p. 874, F. Pausanias, however, relates, that the suppliants in question were not Helots but Lacedæmonians. iv. 24. 5. vii. 25. 3. Cf. Capperonier, Recherches sur les Hilotes, Mem. de l’Acad. des Inscrip. t. xxiii. p. 275.

198. Capperonier, in the last century, entertained something like scepticism on the point, though he could not deny that the moral temperament of the Spartans rendered the existence of the institution probable. “Le défaut de preuves m’empêche, malgré la ferocité connue des Lacédémoniens, de rien décider sur l’usage de la Cryptie.” Mem. &c. p. 284.

199. Dorians, ii. 40, seq.

200. Οἱ τἀκείνων ἀκριβοῦντες. Panathen. § 73.

201. Ap. Plut. Lycurg. § 28.

202. See the conversation with Megillos in the First Book of the Laws throughout. Opp. t. vii. p. 201, sqq. And, again, in Book vi. p. 460. Σχεδὸν γὰρ πάντων τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἡ Λακεδαιμονίων εἱλωτεία πλείστην ἀπορίαν παράσχοιτ᾽ ἂν καὶ ἔριν τοῖς μὲν ὡς εὖ, τοῖς δ᾽ ὡς οὐκ εὖ γεγονυῖα ἐστιν. ἐλάττω δὲ ἥ τε Ἡρακλεωτῶν δουλεία τῆς τῶν Μαριανδυνῶν καταδουλώσεως ἔριν ἂν ἔχοι, τὸ Θετταλῶν τ᾽ αὖ πενεστικὸν ἔθνος.

203. Plut. Vit. Lycur. § 28. Vid. Ubb. Emmium, iii. 127, seq. et Crag. de Rep. Laced. b. i. c. xi. p. 68.

204. Among other nations where servitude was rendered less offensive, both by law and manners, men were enabled to place a more generous confidence in their slaves. Sarmatæ Limigantes Gotthorum vicinorum suorum armis oppressi, cum justas ad resistendum liberorum hominum copias non haberent, tanquam in extremo periculo servos suos armarunt, atque eos contra Gotthos duxerunt. Mox autem, cum à servis deficientibus appetiti, ac sedibus ejecti patriis essent auxilii ac consilii inopes ad Constantinum subsidium imploratum, et sedes tutas petitum se contulerunt. Carol. Sigon. De Occident. Imper. l. iv. p. 67.

205. Thucyd. iv. 80.

206. Plut. Lycurg. § 28.

207. Πολέμοις οἰκείοις ἐξειργόμενοι. Thucyd. i. 118.

208. Plut. Cim. § 16. Diod. Sic. xi. 63.

209. Athen. vi. 87.

210. Strab. viii. t. c. 6. t. ii. p. 190.

211. Ælian. vi. i.

212. In justification of this harsh view of the Spartan character, numerous ancient authorities of the greatest weight may be cited. On their extreme licentiousness see the testimony of Agnon. Athen. xiii. 79. Plato de Legg. viii. t. viii. p. 90. On their tolerance of adultery, Plut. Paral. Num. § 3. On their inhospitality and sordid avarice, Aristoph. Pac. 623. Οἱ δ᾽ ἅτ᾽ αἰσχροκερδεῖς καὶ διειρωνόξενοι, κ. τ. λ. On the avarice of Gylippos, see Max. Tyr. Dissert. p. 133. In the Acharnes (v. 306, seq.) Aristophanes, again, briefly but energetically describes the character which the Spartans enjoyed in Greece:

Πῶς δὲ γ᾽ ἂν καλῶς λέγοις ἂν,
εἴπερ ἐσπείσω γ᾽ ἅπαξ,
Οἷσιν οὔτε βωμὸς, οὔτε πίστις,
οὔθ᾽ ὅρκος μένει.

On which the scholiast remarks: ἐπὶ ἀπιστίᾳ γὰρ διεβάλλοντο οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι· καὶ Εὐριπίδης ἐν Ἀνδρομάχῃ·

Σπάρτης ἔνοικοι, δόλια βουλευτήρια.

Τρία δὲ ἐγκλήματα παραβασίας προσέθηκεν αὐτοῖς· αἱ γὰρ συνθῆκαι διὰ τριῶν τελοῦνται, λόγων, ἔργων, χειρῶν, λόγων μὲν, οἱον δι’ ὅρκων, ἔργων δὲ, διὰ τῶν ἐν βωμοῖς θυσιῶν, χειρῶν δὲ, ἐπειδὴ αἱ πίστεις διὰ τῶν δεξιῶν γίνονται. καὶ Ὅμηρος·

Δεξιαὶ, ᾖς ἐπέπιθμεν.

The passage in the Andromachè referred to by the scholiast occurs at v. 445, sqq. Cf. Thucyd. i. 101. v. 35. See above, Book i. chapter ii. Book ii. chapter viii.

213. M. Ant. Muret. Orat. xvii. p. 153. The achievement of the king is thus related by honest Mezeray: Numbers of Huguenots having collected together on the banks of the Seine his most Christian Majesty, from an apartment of the Louvre “taschoit de les canarder avec sa grande arquebuse à giboyer.” Abrégé Chronologique, iii. 1083.

214. Plat, de Legg. i. t. vii. p. 196. Bekk. Cf. Müller, Hist. of the Dorians, ii. 41.

215. Dorians, ii. 43. Thucyd. i. 118. v. 14. 23.

216. Müll. Dorians, ii. 43.

217. In fact Dion Chrysostom states most distinctly, that there was no such way: Οὐδὲ ὑπάρχει τοῖς Εἵλωσιν γενέσθαι Σπαρτιάταις, ὅθεν δὴ καὶ διατελοῦσιν ἐπιβουλεύοντες τῇ Σπάρτη. Orat. xxxvi. t. ii. p. 92. Reisk.

218. Dorians. ii. 43. Hesych. in v. Ἀργεῖο ... ἐκ τῶν Εἱλώτων οἱ πιστευόμενοι οὕτως ἐλέγοντο. t. i. p. 514, seq. Albert. This has previously been remarked by Capperonier: “On lit dans Hesychius, qu’on donnoit le nom d’Argiens à ceux qui se distinguoient par leur fidelité.” Recherches sur les Hilotes, Mem. de l’Acad. des Inscript. t. xxiii. p. 285. Cf. Crag. de Rep. Laced. l. i. c. xi. p. 70.

219. Cf. Anim. ad Athen. t. viii. p. 603.

220. Cf. Athen. vi. 102.

221. Ad Iliad, ο. p. 1031. 10. Cf. ν. p. 933. 51.

222. Cf. Eustath. ad Il. λ. 784. 15.

223. See Bœckh. Pub. Econ. of Ath. i. 349.

224. l. v. § 34.

225. Dr. Arnold, in Thucyd. v. 34. Hudson, in Var. Lect. on the same passage observes, that “Neodamodes fuisse Helotas, contra quam censet Cragius (de Rep. Lac. i. 12,) clare ostendit Meursius in Miscell. Lacon. ii. 7.” Thucyd. t. iii. p. 492. Bip. Cf. Diod. Sic. xii.

226. Athen. vi. 102. Cf. Herm. Polit. Antiq. §§ 24. 48. et Valckenaar ad Herod. ix. 11, where the condition of the Periœci is sought to be explained. Suid. v. νεοδαμ. ii. 215. Animad. in Athen. t. viii. p. 603. Ubbo Emmius, iii. 138.

227. Thucyd. v. 34. 67. vii. 58. Xenoph. Helen. i. 3. 17. iii. 1. 4. iii. 36. 6. v. 2. 24. vi. 1. 4. I cannot discern the force of Schneider’s argument in his remark on Thucyd. vii. 58: “Sed locus Thucydidis clarissimus est: δύναται δὲ τὸ νεοδαμῶδες ἐλεύθερον ἤδη εἶναι. i. e. significat vocabulum νεοδαμῶδεις homines nuper libertate donatos.” Not to insist on the opinion of Æmilius Portus, that the above words have crept from the margin into the text, the recently enfranchised Helots were as much “homines nuper libertate donatos,” as the Neodamodes. And yet, when sent together to Lepreon they are carefully distinguished. See Hudson. Var. Lect. Thucyd. iv. 460. Bip.

228. Morus. ap. Schneid. Ind. Græc. ad Xen. Hellen. p. 468. Cf. Perizon. ad Ælian. xii. 43.

229. Plut. Agesil. § 6. Cf. Xenoph. Hellen. i. 3. 15. iii. 1. 3. v. 2. 24. Diod. Sicul. xv. 20.

230. See Book ii. chapter vii.

231. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 632. Ubbo. Emm. iii. 132, seq. Mention is made in Plutarch of two Syntrophoi of Cleomenes, who were called Mothaces, and these we find at the head of a party of soldiers. Vit. Cleom. § 8. Cf. Valck. Diatrib. p. 231.

232. Athen. vi. 102. Müller, alluding to this passage, says, “In Athenæus they are called free in reference to their future, not their past, condition.” Dor. ii. 44. n. b. By the same rule, the vicious man who is one day to be virtuous, might, in the midst of his crimes, be pronounced a pattern of morality.

233. Ælian. Var. Hist. xii. 43. Perizon.

234. Cf. Diod. Sicul. xiii. 106, who calls the father Clearchos.

235. Plut. Vit. Lysand. § 2.

236. Cf. Xenoph. Cyrop. i. 2. 15, where the regulations of the Persian system are evidently mere copies of those which prevailed, at least in earlier ages, at Sparta. Plut. Institut. Lac. § 21, seq. Müller, Dor. ii. 314, seq.

237. Teles, ap. Stob. Florileg. Tit. 40. 8. Λακεδαιμόνιοι δὲ οὐδὲν τῶν τοιούτων ὄνειδος ἡγοῦνται· ἀλλὰ τὸν μὲν μετασχόντα τῆς ἀγωγῆς καὶ ἐμμείναντα, κἂν ξένος, κἂν ἐξ εἵλωτας, ὁμοίως τοῖς ἀριστοῖς τιμῶσι· τὸν δὲ μὴ ἐμμείναντα, κἂν ἐξ αὐτοῦ τοῦ βασιλέως εἰς τοὺς εἵλωτας ἀποστέλλουσι, καὶ τῆς πολιτείας ὁ τοιοῦτος οὐ μετέχει. The testimony of Dion Chrysostom (Orat. xxxvi. t. ii. p. 92), as we have seen above, is in direct contradiction with this of Teles; but if we suppose them to speak of different periods of Spartan history, they may both be right.

238. Athen. vi. 101.

239. Ποσειδώνιος δέ φησιν ὁ ἀπὸ τῆς Στοᾶς, πολλούς τινας, ἑαυτῶν οὐ δυναμένους προΐστασθαι διὰ τὸ τῆς διανοίας ἀσθενὲς, ἐπιδουναι ἑαυτους εἰς τὴν τῶν συνετωτέρων ὑπηρεσίαν, ὅπως, παρ’ ἐκείνων τυγχάνοντες τῆς εἰς τὰ ἀναγκαῖα ἐπιμελείας, αὐτοὶ πάλιν ἀποδιδῶσιν ἐκείνοις δι’ αὐτῶν ἅπερ ἂν ὦσιν ὑπηρετεῖν δυνατοί. Athen vi. 84. Cf. Grot. de Jur. Bell. et Pac. ii. v. 27.

240. Eustath. ad Il. β. t. i. p. 223. 38.

241. Δωροφόροι καλεοίαθ᾽ ὑποφρίσσοντες ἄνακτας. Athen. vi. 84.

242. Athen. vi. 84.

243. Aristot. Polit. vii. 5. 7. Müller, ii. 62.

244. Valcken. Diatrib. in Perd. Dram. Eurip. p. 216. b. Ruhnk. ad Tim. Lex. v. πενεστικόν. Eustath. ad Il. β. p. 223. ν. p. 933. π. p. 1120. Ammonius. v. πελάτης. Valcken. Animad. iii. 8. p. 192. Schol, Aristoph. Vesp. 1264. Suid. v. πενέσται. t. ii. p. 479. Strab. l. xii. t. ii. p. 817. Casaub.—Hesych. v. πενέσται. t. ii. p. 910. Albert.

245. See Poppo. Proleg. in Thucyd. ii. 306. 308. Cf. Aristot. Pol. ii. 9. 28.

246. Athen. vi. 85.

247. “But,” says Hermann, “was the name derived from μένειν, Athen. vi. 88 (Cf. Welcker ad Theogn. p. xx.) or from πένεσθαι, Dionys. Hal. ii. 9. p. 255, or were they a distinct race? On this resemblance to the Italian clients, see Niebuhr. vol. i. p. 318.” (1. 277. Engl. Trans.) Niebuhr, however, remarks, that “the same relation which, in Thessaly, was rude and revolting, might, at Rome, be refined by different manners and a better spirit.”

248. Valcken. Diatrib. p. 216. b. Athen. vi. 85.

249. Thucyd. i. 12. Steph. Byzant. v. Ἄρνη.

250. See on the subject Classes of Crete, Gœttling. Excurs. ad Aristot. Pol. p. 473, sqq. Müller. Dor. ii. The undertaker’s business in this country was entrusted to slaves, who obtained the name of Ergatones. Hesych. ap. Meurs. Cret. ii. 13. p. 190.

251. Hesych. in voce. t. ii. p. 635. Albert.—Strab. l. xv. t. ii. p. 1027. l. xii. t. ii. p. 817. Casaub.

252. Suid. in v. i. 1461.

253. Cf. Müll. Dor. ii. 51.

254. Cf. Eustath. ad Iliad, ο. p. 1031.

255. Polyb. iv. 53. The Periœci of Crete bore the same relation to their lords as the agricultural caste did in Egypt to the nobility. Arist. Pol. vii. 9.

256. Vid. Ilgen. De Scol. Poës. p. 108.

257. Athen. iv. 22. Cf. Gœttling. ad Arist. Pol. Excurs. ii. p. 473.

258. Athen. vi. 84.

259. Gœttling. Excurs. ii. De Rep. Cretens. p. 474.

260. Athen. vi. 84.

261. Athen. xiv. 44.

262. Λῷος among the Macedonians. Suid. ii. 60. Anim. ad Athen. xiv. 44.

263. Müll. Dor. ii. 53.

264. Athen. xv. 50. Cf. Ilgen. de Scol. Poës. xxvi. p. 102, sqq.

265. Aristot. Pol. ii. 9. 28.

266. Cf. Arist. Pol. ii. 5. 20.

267. Cf. Müll. Dorians, ii. 54.

268. Herod. vii. 155. Plat. De Legg. t. vii. p. 205. Suid. in v. καλλικυρίοι, i. 1359. Eustathius, however, places the Killicyrii in Crete, and the Ἀρότται (μνῷται?) in Syracuse, ad Il. β. t. i. p. 223. 37.

269. Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxv. 36. Meurs. Rhod. p. 35.

270. Eustath. ad Il. π. p. 1120. Athen. vi. 101. The institution of slavery among the Argives was denominated ἄβουτον, (Hesych. in v.) because their serfs originally, I suppose, were too poor to possess oxen.

271. Sch. Aristoph. Concion. 719. Poll. vii. 68. Cf. Steph. Byzant. v. Χῖος. p. 758. b.

272. The Peisistratidæ pursued the same policy in Attica. Aristoph. Lysist. 18, sqq. Suid. v. κατωνάκαι, i. 1421.

273. Eustath. ad Il. π. p. 1120. Philost. Vit. Apoll. Tyan. viii. 7. 12, who observes that, in later times, the Arcadians though more attached to liberty than any other Greeks, yet maintained a great number of slaves, standing in need of husbandmen, goatherds, swineherds, herdsmen, and drove-keepers, and expert woodsmen. The Corinthians had forty-six myriads of slaves, for which reason the Pythian oracle called them Chœnix-measurers, probably because they allowed their slaves a chœnix of corn per day. Athen. vi. 103. Under the tyranny of Athenion the citizens of Athens were at one time reduced to the fourth part of a chœnix of barley per diem, which, observes the sophist, was rather a cock’s food than a man’s. Athen. v. 53.

274. Theopomp. ap. Athen. iv. 31. This historian speaks in another passage of people who in the present text of Athenæus are denominated Ariæi, who possessing three hundred thousand slaves, (a favourite number with Theopompos,) were enabled to spend their whole lives in mirth and jollity: Ἀριαῖοι δὲ φησὶ, κέκτηνται προσπελατῶν, ὥσπερ εἱλώτων, τριάκοντα μυριάδασ· καθ᾽ ἑκάστην δὲ ἡμέραν μεθύουσι, καὶ ποιοῦνται συνουσίας, καὶ διάκεινται πρὸς ἐδωδὴν καὶ πόσιν ἀκρατέστερον. Athen. x. 60. Cf. vi. 101.




Respecting the condition of the poor, in ancient nations, very little is commonly known, the great historians, the tragic poets, and the other classic writers who enjoy what may be termed popularity, not having bestowed their attention on the subject; and to mine, for this species of knowledge, amid the speculations of philosophers, or the dusky rubbish of scholiasts and lexicographers, being a task for which few have patience. Even those writers who might have been expected to enter fully into this matter, supply but slight and unsatisfactory information, either because they attached little importance to the question, or because it did not enter into their design to examine in all their details the poor-laws of Athens, or the numerous sources of private and public charity which circumscribed the operation of those laws. To the best of my ability I shall endeavour to supply the deficiency.

In the earlier ages of the commonwealth there existed no class of citizens so necessitous as to require the aid of charity.[275] The democracy was not 69disgraced by the beggary of one of its members; for, though many, compared with their neighbours, might be poor, none were reduced to sordid indigence, or so lacked credit as to be unable to command the means of engaging in some profitable branch of industry. Afterwards, however, through the calamitous events of war, and that deterioration seemingly inherent in all forms of government, the number of the indigent exceeded that of the wealthy,[276] (as in every modern country it does,) and distress and destitution occupying entirely the thoughts of the sufferers, corroded to the core that spirit of patriotism which had distinguished their ancestors. But the institutions of Athens, having been truly designed to promote the happiness and provide for the wants of the people, the attention of the legislature was immediately directed to the evil.

As this was the first developement of the spirit of charity, it naturally appeared feeble at the outset, and only acquired strength and volume by degrees. A beginning was made in the case of those who had been disabled in war,[277] and of the children left behind by citizens who fell in defence of their country.

To the former a pension, in early times of one obolos a-day, was allowed: the latter[278] may be said to have been adopted by the state which maintained 70and educated them till the age of eighteen, when, having been taught some trade or business, they were considered able to provide for themselves.[279]

With whom this humane institution originated is not agreed. In the case of disabled soldiers the honour has, by some, been attributed to Peisistratos, by others to Solon. Bœckh, though he acknowledges that the latter “certainly gave the example to Peisistratos,” considers it not improbable that, for the benefit of this important lesson, humanity is indebted to the tyrant, who, he observes, “was of a mild disposition; and usurpers are generally glad to seize every opportunity of conferring a benefit, with a view to make themselves popular; nor would the Athenians, with their hatred to tyranny, have attributed this honour to him if he had not deserved it.”[280]

Of this I am not sure. Peisistratos, a consummate politician, having unjustly rendered himself master of the state, was, no doubt, careful to appropriate to himself as many as possible of the honours due to Solon, the mildest of all legislators; and, if he abstained from abrogating such a law, might contrive to pass for its author. Certain, at all events, it is, that a tradition long existed among the ancients which attributed the institution to Solon;[281] and however mild and popular in manners the tyrant may have been, it will still, perhaps, be acknowledged that in those qualities he was excelled by the great legislator.

By what steps the law, originally instituted with reference solely to citizens disabled in war, came afterwards to embrace the aged, the sick, the blind, 71and infirm of every description, is not known. It did not, however, require them to be absolutely destitute before they could receive relief. Any citizen whose property did not exceed three minæ, or twelve pounds sterling,[282] was entitled to the allowance; to eke out which he might keep a small shop, or apply himself to any other branch of industry within his competence. The laws, in fact, were on this point exceedingly liberal, justly considering it to be the duty of society to make up as far as possible for the injuries of fortune. There was little danger of the state’s humanity being abused. The people themselves examined into every case, which in a community so limited they could easily do, and afterwards it was still in the power of any citizen, who suspected imposition, to bring an action against the offender before the Senate of Five Hundred.

The speech of a defendant in a cause of this kind has come down to us. It was written for the unfortunate citizen by Lysias; and I own I can discover in it nothing of that “jesting tone,” which, in the opinion of some writers, proves it to be a mere rhetorical exercise.[283] On the contrary, it breathes 72of that manly confidence, which it became the citizen, however poor, of a republican state, to feel. We must not conceive of him as a miserable pauper whining to a board of guardians. He understood the intent and meaning of the law, and certain that his case entitled him to the relief it was designed to afford, he spoke before the Senate like a man claiming no more than was equitably due to him; and too well assured of the humanity and justice of his countrymen to be under much apprehension. He kept a small shop, it appears, in the vicinity of the agora, and one of the principal points dwelt on by the prosecutor was, that he there drew together a number of saunterers and newsmongers, such as usually at Athens frequented the shops of barbers, perfumers, &c., in that fashionable part of the town.[284] Another point was, that he sometimes rode on horseback, which, in the opinion of the accusers, a man receiving aid from the state should not have done. But, to this part of the accusation, he replies, that, being so lame as to be compelled to make use of crutches, he was wholly unable to answer the more distant calls of business without hiring a horse, the expense of which only augmented his difficulties.

From these circumstances we may learn, that the Athenian government was by no means penurious in its appropriation of those funds which the contributions of the wealthier citizens placed at its disposal.

On the amount of the daily allowance writers are not agreed, some pretending it was three oboli, others two, and others an obolos. The truth, probably, is, that, originally, it exceeded not a single obolos, but that, as prices augmented, or, rather, as the coin deteriorated in value, it was found necessary to double the amount.[285] Whether it was ever raised to three 73oboli seems doubtful; the affirmation of the Scholiast on Æschines[286] may be a mistake; but the mere fact that this was the pay of the dicasts is no reason at all for calling the testimony of the grammarian in question.[287] Be this, however, as it may, in the time of Lysias,[288] one obolos only was bestowed, and Bœckh has attempted, with much ingenuity, to determine the date of the increased allowance. It had not taken place, according to Harpocration, in the time of Aristotle; but Philochoros, the next writer who touches on the subject, observes, that it was nine drachmæ a month, or fifty-four oboli,[289] which, omitting the fractions, is equal to two oboli a day. The year in which Aristotle composed his treatise on the Athenian government is not exactly known; it was probably, however, after his return from Macedon, 334 B.C. Philochoros was Hieroscopos at Athens in the year of Corœbos, 306 B.C. He did not, however, publish his Atthis till about the year 260 B.C., at which time the poor allowance had been raised to two oboli. The date of the increase, therefore, falls somewhere within the preceding seventy years.[290]

74With respect to the number of persons blind, old, sick, maimed, or otherwise disabled, who received maintenance from the state, no exact computation can be made. Bœckh,[291] imagining that Meursius had reckoned them at five hundred, after remarking that the assumption is founded on a false reading in Suidas, accepts the number as the least that can be adopted. But Meursius,[292] in the passage referred to, assumes nothing; he does not even allude to the number at all. And, in fact, it will be evident, at the first glance, that no conjecture can hope to approach the truth where circumstances were constantly varying, adding to, or taking from, the number of those who required relief. This was chiefly affected by the general poverty of the state, which augmented rapidly towards its decline, when the number of the aged and infirm, not possessing three minæ, or twelve pounds sterling, per annum, must, no doubt, have been considerable. On the other hand, having no longer to defend its freedom, which was gone for ever, the children of citizens falling in battle were comparatively few, and, accordingly, the gain on this item went to balance the loss on the other.

The offspring of citizens thus bequeathed to the care of the state were at one time exceedingly numerous, and highly exemplary and honourable was the attention they received.[293] To the females a maintenance, education, and a portion, were given; and the males having also been supported and educated until manhood, received in the public theatre a complete suit of armour, as a memento of their fathers’ valour, to incite them to follow their example. The whole audience being assembled, the herald introduced the orphan youths clothed in panoply of “complete steel,” and then, with a loud voice, proclaimed 75what Æschines rightly regarded as a most glorious and valour-inspiring proclamation, viz., that the fathers of those youths, like brave and good men, had fallen in their country’s battles, on which account the state had undertaken the charge of their bringing up, and now, on the verge of manhood, having adorned them with an entire suit of armour, dismissed them under happy auspices to watch over their own affairs, granting them, likewise, for the day, the most honourable seats in the theatre.[294]

Petit[295] supposes this to have taken place on their attaining the age of twenty, before which they could not legally assume the management of their inheritance, or encounter the fatigue and peril of regular warfare; but, others, perhaps, with more probability, fix upon the age of eighteen.

The above legal provision, however, does not appear to have sufficed, and there sometimes occurred cases of distress which it could not reach. Many, too, would submit to great privation rather than have recourse to public aid. Such persons, where numbers were in similar circumstances, usually united and formed, what may very properly be denominated a Benefit Club (ἔρανος[296]), to which they contributed when in their power, that, should misfortune overtake them, they might still be sure of support. This description, however, of Eranos constituted only one branch of the numerous Clubs, Companies, Associations, Trades-unions, &c., which, like the Clubs of the Civil Wars[297] and Associations of a 76still later date, occasionally assumed a political character and impeded the movements of the machinery of the state.[298] These societies were instituted with various objects. In the first place they were established to defray by subscription the expense of certain sacrifices, offered up in behalf of their members who were called Eranistæ and Thiasotæ. But under cover of this pretext combinations of an evil tendency were sometimes formed,—among the aristocracy, for example, who established the tyranny of the Four Hundred,—and these obnoxious clubs, varying in character with the period, espoused the cause of freedom in Roman times, and were of course watched jealously by the conquerors.[299]

With respect to those associations which bore a legal character, they were by the laws of Solon permitted to enact whatever rules and regulations they judged proper for their own government and advantage, provided no public ordinance prevented.[300] Sometimes the citizens of a whole Demos, or borough, formed themselves into a club, or a ship’s crew,[301] or an eating society, or persons having a right to the same burial-ground, or the partners in a mercantile expedition. Thus we find three several motives,—religion, gain, and pleasure,—impelling men into unions of this kind, all recognised by law. The curious and intricate internal structure of Athenian society lent itself readily to the formation of such clubs; the whole population having originally been divided into four tribes, each tribe into three phratriæ,[302] each phratria into thirty 77clans (γενη), each clan containing thirty houses, among whom the honours of the priesthood were distributed by lot.[303]

In these Attic associations we discover the germs of those companies of merchants, guilds, &c.,[304] so familiar to the modern world; or rather similar wants in both cases gave rise to similar institutions. But with the trading companies we have, in this place, nothing to do; and if incidentally the other associations are noticed, it is simply for the purpose of more fully developing a system of which the Benefit Clubs formed a part. These evidently rose out of the Eranæ established originally for purposes of pleasure: that is, a number of individuals desirous of enjoying a more splendid entertainment than they could generally afford at home,[305] together with the society of their intimate friends, entered into a subscription[306] for the purpose of getting up a public dinner during the celebration of the great national festivals. In some cases the associations thus formed, pro tempore, did not outlast the occasion, while in others the taste for social pleasures, or the accidental meeting of congenial tempers, led 78to the establishment of a permanent club, the members of which grew naturally among a warm-hearted people to take an interest in each other’s welfare. The expenses of the sacrifices during these festivals were in part defrayed from the revenues of the sacred lands, but these not sufficing, it was generally necessary to raise a common fund by subscription.[307]

Of all these clubs, whether temporary or permanent, whose object was the providing of funds for sacrifice, or to enjoy the pleasures of society, the generic name was Erani, though such as partook of a religious character received besides the appellation of Thiasi.[308] Their members were called Eranistæ and Thiasotæ. It was common among the Greeks to indulge in feasting immediately at the close of harvest, both on account of the plenty which then prevailed, and, because the great business of the year being finished, they had more leisure to devote to enjoyment.[309] That these associations tended to generate and promote friendship and affection among their members was well understood; wherefore in the ancient tyrannies they were rigidly prohibited, together with all common tables, educational establishments, and whatever else, to adopt the expression of Aristotle, promotes reflection and mutual confidence.[310] It was supposed to be their interest to keep men as far as possible in ignorance and distrust of each other. Hence all religions with a tendency to beget mutual love were proscribed (as among the Romans Christianity) as of an antimonarchical character. Thus Mæcenas, as ardent a patron of tyranny as of literature, urged Augustus to 79persecute and proscribe all attempts at introducing new creeds, as favourable to innovation or, at least, to change; to sworn brotherhoods, associations, clubs, things in their nature hostile to monarchy.[311]

The conjecture is probable, that the conversion of the Erani into charitable institutions was matter of accident. At first it seems clear, as I have observed already, that their object was sacrifice, feasting, and pleasure. But it sometimes happened that, of the funds subscribed, some portion would, after their objects had been fulfilled, remain; and if, when this was the case, any member of the club happened to fall into distress, it was perfectly natural to think of applying this surplus to his benefit.[312] From this the step was easy to subscribing expressly for the purpose of relieving indigent members, which, at length, was the practice, though the gradations by which they arrived at it have not been accurately marked.[313] Arrian has left a curious account of a Celtic eranos established by a Hunting Club in honour of Artemis,[314] to whom solemn sacrifice was annually offered up. A fund was created by the members of the club in the following manner: every one who caught a hare paid into the treasury two oboli: the capturer or destroyer of a fox a drachma, the fox being a mischievous animal and fatal to the hare; they therefore considered his destruction in the light of a triumph over an enemy. The sportsman who took a roebuck (δορκὰς), which among them was the noblest 80game, and the largest animal hunted, paid four drachmæ. On the birth-day of the goddess the treasury was opened, and a victim, whether a sheep, a she-goat, or a calf, according to their means, was purchased. Sacrifice was then offered, after which both men and dogs regaled themselves with a banquet. Bitches were on this day crowned with flowers, to show that the feast was celebrated in their behalf.[315]

In all these clubs the chest was the soul of everything; for this being removed the whole society fell to pieces.[316] Accordingly, to become a member it was necessary to subscribe a certain amount to the fund, and all payments were made monthly.[317] As these clubs, moreover, were legal, the person who neglected such payments could be prosecuted at law, as for any other debt; and what shows the importance of these institutions at Athens, the ordinances referring to them formed a separate branch of jurisprudence,[318] to enter into which, however, does not belong to my present inquiry. The president or chairman of the club was likewise treasurer, whether chosen by lot or elected by the members of the club, whose expenses and behaviour, while assembled, he appears to have regulated.[319] It has been seen that the meetings of these societies took place during religious festivals; but whenever they were called 81together, whether by business or piety, it was customary, as in all similar cases among ourselves, for the members to dine together. They do not appear, however, to have possessed club-houses; but, like our literary men of the last century, to have dined at taverns or alternately at each others’ dwellings.[320] On these occasions it was customary to restrain their expenses within moderate limits, the object being rather the enjoyment of each others’ society than the indulgence of a passion for luxury.[321]

On those occasions, when a member received the club at his house, he himself, it has been conjectured, took the chair,[322] not, however, necessarily and by rule; for it has been seen that the president was sometimes chosen by lot, sometimes by vote. But this supposition is, probably, ill-founded; for, as the same individual was at once eranarch and treasurer, it appears exceedingly improbable that he should be changed every time the club dined together. It seems to me more likely,—and we are left to conjecture,—that an annual chairman was chosen to transact the general business of the society, while another individual might be selected to fill the office of chairman for any particular evening. Towards the close of the republic, when the worship of Serapis had been introduced, women would seem to have been received as members of Erani established in honour of that foreign divinity.[323]

But as these clubs were only accidentally connected with charity and the condition of the poor, I proceed to consider another species of Eranæ, conceived almost in the spirit of Christianity. Van Holst,[324] whose researches on the subject of the Hellenic clubs, though pedantic and confused, are not without value, denies that any permanent charitable associations existed among the Greeks, though among 82the Romans, he conceives, they did. At the same time, he confesses what it were difficult to deny, that the friendly subscription called Eranos derived its name and being from the clubs above-described. He contends that no club existed with permanent funds for the relief of distressed friends, and that the relief actually afforded was the spontaneous effort of beneficence and humanity. On this point he is at issue with Casaubon,[325] whom he appears, in some respects, to misunderstand. Salmasius, he conceives, comes nearer the mark where he says, that when any person was overwhelmed with debt or poverty, he found a ready refuge in his friends, who subscribed what they could, both to satisfy his creditors and provide for his future subsistence. It was in the discharge of debts, however, that men found most aid from their friends;[326] though such subscriptions were set on foot on many other occasions, to redeem a man from captivity, for example, or to portion a friendless girl, as was the practice also at Thebes.[327]

The mode in which this subscription was collected, and the principle on which the transaction was based, had something characteristic about them. In the first place, the money resembled a loan (which, strictly speaking, it was not), because, if the receiver afterwards became fortunate, he was bound to make repayment,[328] though while in unfavourable circumstances his mind was not oppressed by the consciousness of being in debt, since no one regarded himself as a creditor, or could ask him for an obolos. Salmasius observes very justly, that the greatest proof of generosity is to give without any desire of a return, which the Greeks called eleëmosynè, or eranos of 83strict charity. The second grade is, where money is lent to be repaid without interest, which our Saviour calls τὰ ἶσα ἀπολαβεῖν.[329] The lowest, where you lend, but on condition of receiving interest.[330]

For the repayment of money collected by eranistic subscription, no exact time, it has been observed, was fixed. It appears to have depended entirely on the recipient’s sense of honour or feelings of gratitude. But Petit,[331] whose researches on this part of his subject were not sufficiently exact, confounds the monthly subscription paid by members of a trading company or ordinary club, with the money which a man, aided by his friends, might be supposed to owe them, and says, that such-a-one was required to pay it back by monthly instalments, or all at once within a month. The former would be the case were we to understand Harpocration to speak of this kind of eranos at all; the latter, if we accept his interpretation. But Van Holst[332] is right in remarking that Petit here apprehends the sense of the grammarian “minus recte”; that is, he mistakes it altogether. However, that the money was at some time to be repaid appears from a variety of passages. Theophrastus, for example, in his Chapter on Grumbling, observes, that the querulous man, to whom a collection made for him by his friends is brought, will reply to the person who bids him to be of good cheer,—“Wherefore? when I must return as much to each of them, and be grateful, moreover, for the favour?”[333]

Among the other peculiarities in the construction of Athenian society which tended to better the condition of the poor, were the entertainments given by rich citizens to their tribes, on certain festivals or days of public rejoicing.[334] And this was a matter 84by no means left to the caprice of individuals, for if some one came not forward voluntarily to undergo the expense, the members of the tribe proceeded to cast lots,[335] and the citizen to whose chance it fell could not escape the performance of this duty, unless he pleaded, as his excuse, some cause deemed satisfactory by the public. Of course, the character of the entertainment depended on the wealth or munificence of the Hestiator.[336] Necessary, it was not, that he should regale his fellow-tribesmen sumptuously, as frugality was one of the characteristics of the nation; but, at the same time, it is quite evident that on many occasions[337] the Feast of the Tribe was a magnificent banquet.[338]

Of the state of the poor at Sparta,[339] our information is exceedingly scanty. We only know that, when they were unable to contribute their share to the maintenance of the public tables, they lost the privilege of being present, and had to provide for themselves at home in the best manner they were able.[340] It would thus appear that their Phiditia differred very little, except in being more general, from the Erani of the Athenians. As Laconia abounded with game, it may be conjectured that the more indigent citizens frequently relied greatly for support on the chase,[341] to which may be added the 85charity of their wealthier neighbours, in whatever way bestowed. In Crete, the citizens being placed more upon an equality, there was little room for extreme poverty.[342] The population, moreover, by artificial restraints, was kept within due bounds; consequently, most persons lived plentifully, and possessed wherewith to exercise the most generous hospitality. But even here they multiplied in later times more rapidly than the means of subsistence, so that numbers of Cretans were fain to serve as mercenary archers in the intestine wars of Greece. The same remark will apply to the Arcadians, and several other people whose poorer members earned a subsistence by their hereditary valour.[343]

At Athens, when persons in easy circumstances made a feast, as on all occasions of sacrificing they did, the custom was to send some small presents, as parts of the victim, to their friends, more especially when poor.[344] But most joyful for the indigent was the period of the Athenian jubilee, the Panathenaia,[345] on which occasion the state received presents of oxen from all the colonies founded by Athenians, so that the whole city overflowed with meat and soup, of which every person might take his share. Sometimes, however, if not generally, the meat fell into the hands of those who least needed it, while the poor got nothing but a little soup with a scanty slice of bread.[346] In times of great scarcity corn was distributed to the indigent in the Odeion, where, on ordinary occasions, it was sold.[347] A similar distribution took place at the Peiræeus in the arsenal, where loaves were given out at an obolos each. On extraordinary occasions, as when a famine raged in the country, the state applied for corn to its foreign allies, and, on receiving any, distributed 86it equally among the citizens. This was the case when Psammitichos made the Athenians a present of a vast quantity of wheat, of which every citizen received five medimni.[348] A peculiar kind of windfall is commemorated by Athenæus, who relates, that when Ion, the dramatic poet of Chios, won the prize of tragedy, he was so overjoyed at his success, that he presented every Athenian with a jar of the best Chian. No doubt, foreign tragedians were not every day winning prizes, or, when they won, so rich and generous as Ion; but advantages of various kinds were enjoyed by the Athenian people not anywhere else known.[349]

Sometimes, when generals obtained any remarkable quantity of plunder, instead of laying it up to meet the serious exigencies of the state they lavished it in feasting the people. Thus, Chares is said to have expended more than sixty talents, or near 15,000l. sterling in entertaining his fellow-citizens,[350] when the public tables were laid out in the agora; and Conon,[351] having obtained a great naval victory over the Lacedæmonians at Cnidos, and surrounded the Peiræeus with fortifications, offered a real hecatomb in sacrifice, and feasted the whole body of people. Of these thoughtless donations the poor, of course, obtained their share. Cimon acted more judiciously and more nobly towards the unfortunate among his countrymen. Looking upon wealth only as a means of recommending himself and obtaining friends, he set no guard upon his lands or gardens, from which every Athenian who chose might freely take what he needed. His house, likewise, in the city was open to all; a plain table being constantly laid for a number of men, so that whosoever was at a loss for a dinner might dine there. He willingly obliged those who came daily to demand some favour of him; and is said always to have gone 87abroad accompanied by two or three domestics bearing money, who were instructed to give to any citizen who approached him with a request. He contributed also to the interment of many; and, often, if he observed a poor Athenian meanly clad, ordered one of his attendants to change raiment with him. By these means, as may be supposed, he acquired marvellous popularity, and stood first among his rivals in public estimation.[352]

But persons thus subsisting on the bounty of the opulent soon lost of necessity the dignity of sentiment which should belong to the citizens of a free state. Many, therefore, when reduced by misfortune, to a choice of evils, preferred the bread obtained by honest labour,[353] however mean or ill paid, to so humiliating a dependance on charity; and, unable to obtain more favourable conditions, actually worked for their food.[354] To labour for hire they scarcely accounted 88a hardship. A large class of citizens, including women,[355] appear by this means to have gained their livelihood, some as cooks, others as reapers, mowers, or any other description of labour which happened to offer itself.[356] Poverty sometimes drove the unprincipled poor to keep houses of ill fame. Others became itinerant flower-sellers, and cried “roses so many bunches the obolos;” or hawked radishes, lupines, or olive-dregs about the streets.[357] And, after their death, the daughters of poor men sometimes joined the Hetairæ, not having been able to earn their livelihood by needlework, weaving, and spinning.[358]

In many respects the poor of southern climates have the advantage of those of the north.[359] The atmosphere itself forms their clothing, and during a great part of the year it is immaterial to them where they sleep. But at Athens, however temperate 89the climate, a shelter from the cold in winter is desirable, and here, therefore, as in every other part of Greece, the practice was to erect houses where, as in the Caravanserais of the East, any man, native or stranger, might enter and obtain shelter for the night. These buildings were called Leschæ, erected without doors, to intimate that all were welcome; and in them, accordingly, beggars and wanderers of every description congregated round great fires in winter and bad weather, both to sleep and converse.[360] Even the citizens, particularly at Sparta, met in the Leschæ, to enjoy the delights of gossiping; whence any idle assemblage was called a Leschè.[361] In a fragment of the lost oration of Antiphon against Nicoles, mention is made of these edifices, which served as a refuge for the destitute. They were erected by the state; and, to cast over them an air of sanctity, dedicated to Apollo, who thence obtained the surname of Leschenorios.[362] Nowhere were these humane institutions so numerous as at Athens, where, according to Proclus,[363] there existed no fewer than three hundred and sixty, in which the indigent, who had no home, might congregate together and keep themselves warm at the nation’s expense.

In addition to these the public baths served as an asylum to such of the poor as had no home, or were unable to provide themselves with fuel in their own dwellings. Here they would seem to have pressed so eagerly about the furnaces as to be sometimes scorched and blistered;[364] and the crowd of poor 90wretches in this necessitous condition would appear to have been occasionally so great as to deteriorate the state of the atmosphere by their breath,[365] on which account they were exposed to be driven forth by the bath-keepers.

In Homeric times, beggars and all other sorts of vagrants took refuge from the nightly cold in smiths’ forges,[366] just as in former ages they did in the glass-houses of London. These fathers of sacrilege, as Plato[367] calls them, when properly equipped for the road, presented a tolerably picturesque aspect with their close Mysian bonnet,[368] ragged cloak, and bottle strapped to the thigh,[369] and supporting themselves as they walked on a huge staff. To this worshipful society Dionysios, once tyrant of Syracuse, belonged in his old age.[370]

91There was at Athens, in later times, a class of men who resembled the bone-grubbers and dung-hill scrapers of London and Paris. These were the grain-pickers of the Deigma and Agora, who hovering about where the farmers and corn-chandlers meted their grain, and collecting what dropped from the sacks,[371] or was spilled in measuring, thus earned a miserable subsistence. Persons of this description might eke out their livelihood by appropriating to themselves the coarse brown bread which pious and charitable persons placed in the propylæa of temples for their use.[372] Here Diogenes, the Cynic, who, carrying about provisions in his wallet, was independent of these offerings, sometimes dined; and, for the sake of uttering a bon mot, threw out the loaves that might have been useful to others; observing, that nothing coarse[373] should be allowed to enter the temples of the gods.

Religion has everywhere been favourable to the poor. On the festival of the new moon, when the great and opulent offered up costly sacrifices to the gods, as to Hecatè, for example, on cross-roads,[374] their more indigent brethren seized the occasion 92when their hearts were thus softened, to ask them for something. Thus Homer, according to the legend attributed to Herodotus, went in Samos to the houses of the wealthy, chanting his Eiresione, for which he received a consideration.[375]

There was a class of beggars who went about the country begging for the crow,[376] holding, apparently, a tame bird of that species like a falcon on their wrist, and chanting the following ditty:—

Good people, a handful of barley bestow
On the bearers about of the sable crow—
Apollo’s daughter she—
But if the barley heap wax low,
Still kindly let your bounty flow,
And of the yellow grains that grow
On the wheaten stalk be free.
Or a well-kneaded loaf or an obolos give,
Or what you will, for the crow must live.
If the gods have been bountiful to you to-day,
Oh say not to her for whom we sing,
Say not, we implore you, nay,
To the bird of the cloudy wing.
A grain of salt will please her well,
And whoso this day that bestows,
May next day give (for who can tell?)
A comb from which the honey flows.
93But come, come, what need we say more?
Open the door, boy, open the door,
For Plutos has heard our prayers.
And see, through the porch a damsel, as sweet
As the winds that play round the flowery feet
Of Ida, comes the crow to meet,
And a basket of figs she bears.
Oh may this maiden happy be,
And from care and sorrow free;
Let her all good fortune find,
And a husband rich and kind.
And when her parents have grown old,
Let her in her father’s arms
Place a boy as fair as she,
With the ringlets all of gold,
And, upon her mother’s knee,
A maiden decked with all her charms.
But I from house to house must go,
And wherever my eyes by my feet are borne,
To the muse at night and morn
For those who do or don’t bestow,
The mellow words of song shall flow.
Come then, good folks, your plenty share,
O give, my prince! and maiden fair,
Be bountiful to-day.
Sooth, custom bids ye all to throw
Whole handfulls to the begging crow;
At least give something; say not, no,
And we will go our way.

In Rhodes another kind of begging, which usually took place in the month of March, was denominated Chelidonizein;[377] or, to sing the

The swallow is come, and with her brings
A year with plenty overflowing;
Freely its rich gifts bestowing,
The loveliest of lovely springs.
She is come, she is come,
To her sunny home.
94And white is her breast as a beam of light,
But her back and her wings are as black as night;
Then bring forth your store,
Bring it out to the door,
A mass of figs, or a stoop of wine,
Cheese, or meal, or what you will,
Whate’er it be we’ll not take it ill:
Even an egg will not come amiss,
For the swallow’s not nice
When she wishes to dine.
Come, what shall we have? Say, what shall it be?
For we will not go,
Though time doth flee,
Till thou answerest Yes, or answerest No.
But if thou art churlish we’ll break down the gate,
And thy pretty wife we’ll bear away;
She is small, and of no great weight.
Open, open, then we say.
Not old men but boys are we,
And the swallow says,—“Open to me.”

It was seldom, however, that the indigent in Greece could enjoy the luxuries here enumerated. Antiphanes[378] describes a poor man’s meal as consisting of a cake (μαζα),[379] bristling with bran for the sake of economy, with an onion, and, for a relish, a dish of sow-thistle, or of mushrooms, or some such wretched produce of the soil, a diet producing neither fever nor phlegm. However, where meat is to be got, no man, he thought, would be contented with thyme, though he might pretend to rival the Pythagoreans.[380] Mention, nevertheless, is made of two philosophers who voluntarily subsisted all their lives on water and figs, and grew very healthy and robust upon this fare, though their perspiration had so ill 95an odour, that every one avoided them when they entered the public baths. Pythagoras forbade his abstemious followers the use of the mallows, upon which the humbler classes in Greece were accustomed to feed, together with the roots of the day-lily, the nymphea nelumbo, the nettle,[381] and various other wild plants. The Kapparis,[382] plentiful in Athens, was very commonly eaten by the indigent, and hence “to gather kapparis” was at length considered synonymous with “to be in want.”[383] Alexis furnishes us with a curious account of a poor Athenian family’s provisions.[384]

Mean my husband is, and poor,
And my blooming days are o’er.
Children have we two,—a boy,
Papa’s pet and mamma’s joy;
And a girl, so tight and small,
With her nurse;—that’s five in all:
Yet, alas! alas! have we
Belly timber but for three!
Two must, therefore, often make
Scanty meal on barley-cake;
And sometimes, when nought appears
On the board, we sup on tears.
My good man, once so strong and hale,
On this fare grows very pale;
For our best and daintiest cheer,
Through the bright half of the year,
Is but acorns, onions, peas,[385]
Ochros, lupines,[386] radishes,
Vetches, wild pears nine or ten,[387]
With a locust[388] now and then.
As to figs, the Phrygian treat,
Fit for Jove’s own guests to eat,
They, when happier moments shine,—
They, the Attic figs, are mine.

275. Before the establishment, however, of the Athenian commonwealth, when Greece had not yet emerged from the period of barbarism, piratical expeditions were, by many of the smaller states, undertaken for the sake of providing for the poor. Thucyd. i. 5.

276. Τότε μὲν οὐδεὶς ἦν τῶν πολιτῶν ἐνδεὴς τῶν ἀναγκαίων οὐδὲ προσαιτῶν τοὺς ἐντυγχάνοντας τὴν πόλιν κατῄσχυνε, νῦν δὲ πλείους εἰσὶν οἱ σπανίζοντες τῶν ἐχόντων. Isocrat. Areop. § 38.

277. Καὶ νόμους αὐτὸς ἑτέρους ἔγραψεν, ᾧν ἐστι καὶ ὁ τοὺς πηρωθέντας ἐν πολέμῳ δημοσίᾳ τρέφεσθαι κελεύων. Plut. Solon. § 31. See the other authorities collected by Meursius. Them. Att. i. 10. p. 27. Cf. Petit, Legg. Att. viii. 3. p. 559. Aristotle, in a passage of his Politics, (ii. 5. 4,) has been supposed to attribute the honour of this idea to Hippodamos, who, he says, proposed public rewards for useful inventions, and maintenance and education for the children of slain warriors. But St. Hilaire, who translates him in this sense, seems to be mistaken. Aristotle says, that Hippodamos proposed such a law, as if it were new:—“Now such a law,” he says, “existed at Athens, and in other states.” Cf. Gœttling. ad loc. p. 327, sqq. St. Hil. i. 147.

278. Poll. viii. 91. Gœttlieb. ad Plat. Menex. p. 62, seq.

279. Aristid. Panath. i. 190. Jebb. Μόνοι δὲ ἁπάντων ἀνθρώπων τρία ταῦτα ἐνομίσατε· τῶν μὲν ὑπὲρ τῆς πόλεως τελευτησάντων αὐτῶν μὲν ἐπαίνους ἐπὶ ταῖς ταφαῖς καθ᾽ ἕκαστον ἔτος λέγειν· τούς δέ παῖδας δημοσίᾳ τρέφειν ἄχρις ἥβης, καὶ τηνικαῦτα ἀποπέμπειν ἐπὶ τοὺς πατρῴους οἴκους μετὰ τῶν πανοπλιῶν· τοὺς δὲ ἀδυνάτους τῶν πολιτῶν δημοσίᾳ τρέφειν.

280. Publ. Econ. of Athen. i. 324.

281. Schol. ined. ad Æschin. cont. Timarch. p. 14. 40. ap. Taylor, ad Lys. Orat. Att. t. ii. p. 537. Dobs.—Diog. Laert. i. 2. 8.

282. Harpocrat, v. ἀδύνατοι. Cf. not. Vales. et Suid. v. t. i. p. 89, b.

283. Bœckh. Pub. Econ. of Athens, vol. i. p. 325. It should here, perhaps, be remarked, that they who failed to be present on the day of examination, lost their allowance for a whole Prytaneia. Schol. ad Æschin. cont. Tim. § 21. At times it would appear a man required some skill and eloquence to plead his own cause; or a friend to speak in his behalf, perhaps, when the number of applicants was very great. We may gather thus much from the accusation of Æschines against Timarchos, who, though a rich man, suffered, we are told, his old blind uncle to inscribe his name on the list of the destitute. On one occasion, moreover, when the uncle had omitted to attend on the proper day, and had addressed a petition to the Senate to be allowed his pay notwithstanding, Timarchos, who happened to be then in court, refused to support his application, by which means he lost his allowance for that Prytaneia. Æschin. cont. Tim. § 21. The Scholiast on this passage adds, that they who petitioned the Senate appeared in person, bearing in their hand an olive branch wreathed with wool.

284. Andocid. de Myst. § 9. Plut. Timol. § 14.

285. That this allowance was not very scanty may be inferred from the fact, that when the people of Trœzen publicly received the wives and parents of the Athenians on their retreat from the city during the Persian invasion, they allowed each individual only two oboli a day. Plut. Themist. § 10.

286. Ap. Taylor ad Lys. Orat. Att. t. ii. p. 537. Dobs.

287. Bœckh’s over-acuteness has, probably, misled him on this point. i. 325.

288. Pro Impot. §§ 4. 8.

289. Philoch. Fragm. p. 44, seq. with the notes of Lenz and Siebelis. Conf. Harpocrat. v. ἀδύνατ. cum not. Gronov. et Vales. Petit, Legg. Att. 558, seq.

290. Cf. Clinton Fast. Hellen. ii. p. 175. Siebel. ad Philoch. Fragm. p. 3. Bœckh. Publ. Econ. of of Ath. i. 327, falls into an extraordinary error respecting the age of Philochoros, “who was a youth,” he says, “when Eratosthenes was an old man.” This he states on the authority of Suidas. But, as Siebelis has already remarked, in exposing the erroneous imputations of Vossius and Corsini, Suidas was himself mistaken, or his text is corrupt; for Philochoros, to have obtained the important office of Hieroscopos in 306, B.C., must have been then at least twenty years old. Now Eratosthenes was born B.C. 275, Clint. Fast. Hellen. iii. 5, so that it seems he was a youth when Philochoros was an old man.

291. Pub. Econ. of Athens, i. 327.

292. Lect. Att. vi. 5.

293. Isocrat. de Pac. § 29. To complete the humanity of the laws, the parents, also, of such as fell in war were placed under the special protection of the Archons. Petit, Legg. Att. p. 559.

294. Æschin. cont. Ctesiph. § 48, with the notes of the Scholiast, p. 395. Conf. Plat. Menex. § 21. p. 61. ed. Gœttlieb. The προεδρία which the Scholiast to Æschines supposes them to have enjoyed during the day on which they received the panoply, Lesbonax seems to have regarded as perpetual. They were honoured, moreover, with particular marks of public favour in the sacred choruses and in the gymnasia. Protrept. i. § 5. Conf. Menag. in D. Laert. t. ii. p. 20. c. d.

295. Legg. Att. p. 560.

296. Sch. Aristoph. Acharn. 1171. Poll. iii. 129. vi. 7. viii. 144. 157.

297. See Locke, Memoirs of Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury, Works, folio. vol. iii.

298. Van Holst, de Eranis. c. ii. p. 35.

299. Casaub. ad Theoph. Charact. p. 284.

300. Gaius. lib. iv. ad leg. xii. Tabul. in f. 4. d. Petit, Legg. Att. v. 7. 427. Potter, i. 200.

301. The words ἤ ναῦται omitted by some, converted into something else by others, are judiciously retained by Van Holst, de Eranis, c. ii. p 36, since they are in exact conformity with what Aristotle remarks. Ethic. Nicom. viii. 11. p. 470, seq. Victor.

302. Vandale having cited a passage from Pollux, iii. 52, stating that the temple in which the phratriæ assembled was denominated φράτριον, adds:—“quas φρατρίας Athenis duodecim numero existentes, ibi tum ulterius describit atque inter alia notat, illorum ad illos introitu virum (procul dubio ab ipsorum parentibus) distributum cæteris φράτορσιν fuisse. Huic οἰνηστήρια sicut et Themistius, Orat. xiii. notat, illos ante introitum, convocata concione probatos et publico annulo signatos fuisse.” Dissert. 9. p. 729.

303. Harpocrat. v. v. γεννῆται et τριττὺς. Herm. Polit. Antiq. § 98, seq. Schöm. Comit. p. 360.

304. A corresponding distribution of the humbler classes was effected at Rome by Numa: Ἠν δὲ ἡ διανομὴ κατὰ τὰς τέχνας, αὐλητῶν, χρυσοχόων, τεκτόνων, βαφέων, σκυτοτόμων, σκυτοδεψῶν, χαλκέων, κεραμέων. Τὰς δὲ λοιπὰς τέχνας εἰς ταὐτὸ συναγαγῶν, ἓν αὐτῶν ἐκ πασῶν ἀπέδειξε σύστημα Plut. Num. § 17. Cf. Schol. Nub. Aristoph. 179.

305. The Thebans of Bœotia, intoxicated by the military glory they gained at the battle of Leuctra, shortly afterwards gave themselves up almost entirely to the pleasures of the table, which they appear chiefly to have enjoyed at their clubs. To support these establishments, therefore, numerous individuals were found who, notwithstanding that they had children, bestowed the greater portion of their fortunes upon them, thus manifesting, perhaps, the greatest enthusiasm ever exhibited in the cause of good-eating. Athen. x. 11.

306. Sch. Æsch. Tim. p. 380. a.

307. Cf. Bergmann and Coray ad Isocrat. Areop. § 11. Van Holst, de Eranis. c. ii. p. 37.

308. Etym. Mag. 449. 53. Lucian introduces Pan calling himself the θιασώτης of Bacchos. Deor. Dial. xxii. Another name bestowed on these societies was Ὀργεῶνες which appellation however, according to Pollux, was synonymous with φράτορες· ἐκαλοῦντο δ᾽ οὗτοι καὶ ὀμογάλακτες καὶ ὀργεῶνες. iii. 52. Cf. viii. 107. Vandale, Dissert. ix. p. 734.

309. Aristot. Ethic. viii. 11.

310. Arist. Polit. v. 11.

311. Dion Cass. l. ii. p. 490. e.

312. Salmas. de Usur. c. iii. p. 50.

313. Cf. Plin. Epist. x. 93, seq. Van Holst, de Eran. p. 43.

314. The Thiasi, &c., among the Greeks, appear all to have had their patron divinities, of whom the most common were Heracles, Phœbos-Apollo, and Dionysos. This circumstance has been noticed by Vandale: Plerumque, (sicut ὀργεώνων collegia) cœtus ac fraternitates Baccho, Herculi, Apollini, aliisve Diis consecratæ: quibus Diis ab harum fratriarum membris, ut peculiaribus patronis sacrificabatur: atque hinc convivia inter φράτορας celebrabantur: ad quæ communes illi sumptus sive impensas pariter conferebant. Dissert. ix. p. 730.

315. Arrian de Venat. c. xxxiii. p. 383. Schneid.

316. Van Holst, c. ii. p. 46.

317. Harpocrat. p. 85. Bekk. It would, however, appear that payment might be avoided by pleading poverty: speaking of the hypocrite, πρὸς τοὺς δανειζομένους, says Theophrastus, καὶ ἐρανίζοντας, ὡς οὐ πωλείφήσεν. Charact. c. i. p. 5.

318. Poll. viii. 37, 101, 144.

319. Harpocrat. v. πληρωτὴς; where doubtless we must read with Salmasius (Miscell. Defens. C. ii. p. 27) ᾑρημένοις, for ἐωνημένοις, though Bekker retains the old lection, p. 155. Cf. Van Holst, p. 56.—Athenæus describes a festival called Phagesiposia in which every one who passed by was compelled to repeat a rhapsody in honour of Bacchos. (vii. 1.) There was also at Alexandria a curious festival called Lagenephoria, in which every person brought his own portion, and his own bottle, and reclined on a couch of grass or reeds. (2.)

320. Athen. vi. 35. Van Holst, de Eranis, pp. 30, 59.

321. Arist. Ethic. viii. 11.

322. Van Holst, de Eranis, p. 60.

323. Bœckh, Corp. Inscrip. pt. ii. p. 162.

324. De Eranis, c. iii. p. 73, sqq.

325. Ad Theoph. Char. p. 280, sqq.

326. Salmas. de Usur. c. iii. p. 38.

327. Corn. Nep. Vit. Epaminond. § 3.

328. It ought, moreover, to be remarked, that these eranistic loans were sometimes returned even to the children of those who advanced them. Isæus, De Hagn. Hered. § 10.

329. Cf. Cicer. pro Rosc. Amer. § 7.

330. Salmas. de Usur. p. 672.

331. Legg. Att. v. 7. 429.

332. De Eranis, t. iii. p. 75.

333. Theoph. Charact. xvii. Casaub. p. 308. Cf. Ter. Phorm. iv. 4. 22. Plaut. Asinar. i. 3. 92, sqq. Van Holst, p. 77.

334. Athen. v. 2.

335. Harpocrat. in v. ἑστιάτωρ. Dem. cont. Mid. § 44. adv. Lept. § 7. adv. Bœot. § 3. Cf. Herald. Anim. in Salm. Obs. ad Jus. Athen. et Rom. l. ii. c. i. § 12.

336. Ἑστιάτωρ, ὁ εἰς εὐφροσυνην καὶ εὐωχίαν καλων· δαιτυμόνες δὲ οἱ ἀριστηταὶ, οἱ εὐωχούμενοι. Suid. v. t. i. p. 1052. d.

337. There occurred, however, but few holydays on which artisans abstained altogether from labour. Lucian. Parasit. § 15.

338. Poll. vi. 27. iii. 67. Bœckh, therefore, appears to be wrong in supposing that delicacies were never used on these occasions. Pub. Econ. of Athens, vol. ii. p. 222. Cf. Wolf. Proleg. ad Lept. in Orat. Att. t. vi. p. 372.

339. Vid. Plat. De Leg. t. vii. p. 181. 201. seq. t. viii. p. 101. seq. De Rep. t. vi. p. 233. The institution of the Phiditia commenced in Italy. Arist. Pol. vii. 9. The members of these messes were balloted for. Plut. Lycurg. § 12. Even the relations of Agesilaos, by the mother’s side, were poor. Agesil. § 4.

340. Aristot. Polit. ii. 9.

341. Cf. Athen. iv. 9.

342. Aristot. Polit. ii. 9.

343. Id. Polit. ii. 10.

344. Theoph. Char. c. 17. Casaub. p. 259.

345. Meursius (in Panath. c. xv. p. 22) is very unsatisfactory.

346. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 385.

347. Demosth. cont. Phorm. § 13. Cf. Meurs. Rhod. p. 127.

348. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 718.

349. Athen. i. 5.

350. Athen. xii. 43. Money itself was sometimes distributed. Dem. adv. Leochar. § 12.

351. Athen. i. 5.

352. Theopomp. ap. Athen. xii. 44.

353. Alluding to the necessity of labour to the poor, Plato says:—If an artisan happen to fall sick, he demands a rapid cure of his physician by emetics or aperients, or cautery, or surgical operation. But if he be recommended a long and careful attention to regimen, to tie up his head and such things, he speedily replies, that he has no leisure to play the valetudinarian, and that it is of no advantage to him to preserve his life by such continual nursings, while his affairs are going to ruin. Thus dismissing his physician, and returning to his ordinary diet, if he recover he pursues his calling, if not he is delivered from all his troubles at once. De Repub. t. vi. l. iii. p. 145.

354. Ἐπισίτιοι. Plat. Rep. iv. § 1. t. i. p. 263. Stallb. Athen. vi. 50. Cf. Bœckh. Pub. Econ. i. 156, on the lowness of wages. On the Pelatæ see the note of Rünkh. ad Tim. Lex. in v. Meris, p. 208. Bekk.—Plat. Euthyph. t.i. p. 356. Poll. iii. 82. Dionysius of Halicarnassus entertained a strange notion of the θῆτες and πελάται of the Athenians, whose condition he supposes to have been inferior to that of the Roman clients. He pretends, indeed, that clientship arose in Greece, and was only established by imitation at Rome: ἔθος Ἑλληνικὸν καὶ Ἀρχαῖον, he says, ὧ Θετταλοί τε μέχρι πολλοῦ χρώμενοι διετέλεσαν καὶ Ἀθηναῖοι καταρχὰς. ἐκεῖνοι μὲν γὰρ ἐπιτάττοντες οὐ προσήκοντα ἐλευθέροις, καὶ ὁπότε μὴ πράξειάν τι τῶν κελευρομένων, πληγὰς ἐντείνοντες, καὶ τἄλλα ὥσπερ ἀργυρωνήτοις χρώμενοι. ἐκάλουν δὲ Ἀθηναῖοι μὲν Θῆτας τοὺς Πελάτας, ἐπὶ τῆς λατρείας Θετταλοὶ δὲ, Πενέστας, ὀνειδίζοντες αὐτοῖς εὐθὺς ἐν τῇ κλήσει τὴν τύχην. Antiq. Rom. ii. 9. Reiske very justly remarks on this passage, that he does not see with what propriety the Thetes of Attica are classed with the Thessalian Penestæ, in comparing them with the Roman Clients. For it is most certain (as H. Stephens shows in his Schediasm. v. 15, seq.), that the condition of the Penestæ bore little resemblance to that of the Roman Clients. And as to the Attic Thetes and Pelatæ they were completely free, though inferior in rank to the artisans (οἱ βαναυσοὶ, Steph. Thes. v. θῆς); nor did they serve as slaves serve their masters (ut δοῦλοι δεσπόταις); but, as appears from the Scholiast on Odyss. δ. 644, as poor and debt-oppressed persons hire their services to the rich or to their creditors, who were denominated χρήστας, not προστάτας, or δεσπότας. The condition of the Thessalian Penestæ was different: for they were nearly slaves, μεταξὺ δούλων καὶ ἐλευθέρων, as the ancients called them. (Pollux, iii. 83.) Those among them who served in families were named θετταλοικέται. (Reiske, ad Dion. Hal. t. i. p. 255.)

355. Demosth. adv. Eubul.

356. Demosth. de Coron. § 16. Cf. Plat. Rep. ii. 12. Stallb.

357. Diphilos ap. Athen. ii. 45.

358. Luc. Dial. Meret. vi. § 1. Plut. Arat. § 54.

359. Beggars sometimes sat down on the ground to eat what was given them at the doors of the charitable. Thus in Antiphanes one says,—“What dost thou say? Bring me hither to the door something to eat; and then, like the beggars, I will despatch it, seated on the ground, and who will see?” Athen. ii. 87.

360. Etym. Mag. 18. 1, seq. 561. 11. Odyss. σ. 328, et Eustath. ad loc. Cf. Hesiod. Opp. et Dies, 493, et 500, seq. with Bœckh. Inscript. i. p. 133. Horat. Serm. i. vii. 3.

361. Pausan. iii. 14. 2. 15. 8. x. 25. 1. Siebel. ad loc.

362. Harpocrat. in v. λέσχαι. Suid. in v. ii. 27, seq. Etymol. Mag. p. 18, v. ἀδολεσχία.

363. Ap. Meurs. Athen. Att. iii. vi. 158.

364. Πλὴν φώδων ἐκ βαλανέιου. Aristoph. Plut. 535: φλυκταινῶν· ἐκ βαλανείου δὲ διὰ τὸ τοὺς πένητας ἀποροῦντας ἐνδυμάτων διὰ τὸ ψύχος ἐν βαλανείοις καθεύδειν, καὶ ἐκ θέρμης ἢ ἀέρος αὐτοὺς ἐξιόντας παραχρῆμα προσβάλλοντος φλυκτόινας ποιεῖν· Απολλαδωρος τὰ ἐκ τοῦ πυρὸς ἐρυθήματα, ἢ ἐκ ψύχους, ἢ τοὺς τύλους, καὶ τὰ ἐπικαύματα τὰ ἐκ τοῦ πυρὸς, ὡς τῶν πενήτων διὰ τὸ αὐτουργεῖν τοῦτο πασχόντων. Schol. in loc.

365. Schol. Aristoph. Plut. 956.


Οὐδ᾽ ἐθέλεις εὕδειν, χαλκήϊον ἐς δόμον ἐλθὼν,
Ἠὲ που ἐς λέσχην.
Odyss. σ. 327, seq.

Χαλκήϊος δὲ δόμος τὸ τῶν χαλκέων ἐργαστήριον, ἔνθα εἰσιόντες ἀκωλύτως οἱ πτωχοὶ, ἐκοιμῶντο παρὰ τῷ πυρί. Eustath. in loc. p. 672. 28. Basil.

Πὰρ δ᾽ ἴθι χάλκειον θῶκον καὶ ἔπ’ ἀλέα λέσχην
Ὥρῃ χειμερίῃ, ὁπότε κρύος ἀνέρας ἔργων
Ἰσχάνει, κ. τ. λ.
Hesiod. Opp. et Dies, 493, sqq.

367. De Repub. t. vi. p. 393. Among the nations of antiquity I remember none who looked upon poverty in so venerable a light as the inhabitants of Gadeira, now Cadiz. For these worthy people erected, we are told, an altar in its honour, probably supposing it to be near akin to death, whose praises they also sang in pæans. Philost. Vit. Apoll. Tyan. v. 4, p. 190. Phot. Biblioth. Cod. 241, p. 328, b.

368. Aristoph. Acharn. 440.

369. Lucian. Dial. Mort. i. § 2. Vict. Var. Lect. i. 24. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 410.

370. Ἀυτὸς δὲ Διονύσιος τέλος μητραγυρτῶν καὶ τύμπανο φορούμενος, οἰκτρῶς τὸν βίον κατέστρεψεν. Clearch. ap. Athen xii. 58. Every just and upright man would probably rejoice to behold all tyrants in the same condition. Cf. Tim. Lex. Platon. v. ἀγείρουσαν, with the note of Rühnken. p. 16, who has collected several passages illustrating the life and manners of the begging priests of Cybelè.

371. Eustath. ap. Casaub. Char. p. 197. In the Acts of the Apostles the Epicureans and Stoics contemptuously denominate St. Paul a σπερμολόγος, xvii. 18.

372. The Alexandrians placed loaves in the temple of Chronos for the poor. Athen. iii. 74. Among the Ethiopians there was an institution called the Table of the Sun, which we may suppose to have been designed to supply the poor with food. In a meadow close to the suburbs of the capital a plentiful entertainment was laid out during the night, which as soon as day broke every person had permission to partake of. This feast the natives affected to regard as a gift bestowed upon them incessantly by the earth. Herod. iii. 18. Cf. Pausan. i. 33. 4. vi. 26. 2.

373. Diog. Laert. vi. 2. § 64. Ῥυπαρὸς, alone, signifies as the French translator has rendered it, “mal-propres,” t. i. p. 358. But ῥυπαρὸς ἁρτὸς, means du pain bis, as Menage long ago observed, ad loc. ii. 146. b. c. Diogenes, as the reader will perceive, meant to pun upon the word ῥυπαρὸς.

374. These suppers were eaten by the poor, together with the eggs and other small offerings used in purifying places. Luc. Dial. Mort. i. § 1. Catapl. § 7. Lomeier, de Lustrat. c. xxi. p. 258, seq. Cakes called Amphiphontes were offered to Artemis within a circle of burning torches. These offerings were made in the temples, and on cross-roads, at the full moon, when the sun, rising ere the moon sets, there is constant light throughout the twenty-four hours, which was signified by the ring of torches; the whole round of the day being filled with light. In the island of Hecatè, on the coast of Delos, the Delians used to dedicate offerings to Iris, of cakes called Basynias, made with wheaten flour and honey, the offering called cokkora, a dried fig, and three walnuts. Athen. xiv. 53. The Athenians, when sacrificing to the Seasons, offered up boiled meat, and not roasted, as on other occasions; praying to be protected from the heats which dry up and destroy everything, and to be blessed with moderate warmth, to ripen and bring everything to perfection. Id. xiv. 72.

375. Herod. Vit. Hom. § 33. t. ii. p. 362. Schweigh.—Meurs. Gr. Fer. p. 213, seq.

376. Athen. viii. 59.

377. Athen. viii. 60. In the warmer atmosphere of the volcanic islands of Lipari, the swallow has, by modern naturalists, been found stationary. Spallanzani, Travels in the Two Sicilies, i. Introd. p. 32.

378. Athen. ii. 56.

379. Cf. Foës. Œconom. Hippoc. v. μαζα. This bread, we find, was sometimes leavened. Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 557. Athen. xiv. 83.

380. Mention is made of some poor philosophers of this sect, who used to chew the plant called ἄλιμα to allay hunger, and might be seen wandering about torrent beds, collecting this and similar herbs in their wallets. Athen. iv. 52. According to the comic poets, the Pythagorean sect allowed its disciples a loaf of pure bread and a cup of water per diem, which constituted the ordinary prison allowance. Id. ibid.

381. Aristoph. Equit. 420.

382. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 445.

383. Athen. xiii. 22.

384. Id. ii. 44.

385. Lucian. Amor. § 33.

386. Athen. x. 17.

387. Aristophanes, Vesp. 1260, enumerates apples and pomegranates among the ordinary articles of food used by the poor.

388. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Ach. 1081. Athen. iv. 7. 10. Phot. Bib. 453. a. 32. Herod. iv. 172.



We have examined the condition of the poor at Athens, and shall now consider how far the laws of the state interfered to better their circumstances by promoting industry, and rendering it honourable. Among the Spartans, idleness, the vice of soldiers,[389] was regarded as a proof of rank; whence the remark of that disciple of Lycurgus, who, being present at Athens during a trial for this offence, fatal to a democracy, observed, that they punished the man for being a gentleman.[390] Solon, however, entertained little respect for this mark of gentility. According to his laws, of which the whole design was to create and preserve that feeling of manliness bestowed by the consciousness of independence, the individual, who, possessing no property, refused to labour, was a bad citizen, against whom any one might bring an action of idleness.[391] Draco, the most Utopian and savage of legislators, punished vagabondage with death, or, according to some, with infamy only. But Solon, 97who would not require too much of human nature, reserved this latter penalty for those who should be thrice convicted.[392]

It has been conjectured, that Peisistratos was author of the law against idleness; by which he sought to compel as many of the citizens as had no visible means of support, to take refuge in the country. Be this, however, as it may, it was not alone by severity, that the laws of Athens sought to recommend the pursuits of industry.[393] Superior excellence in any useful art entitled a man to very high honours, to maintenance at the public expense, in the Prytaneion, in company with the chief magistrates and generals of the commonwealth, and one of the first seats at all spectacles and popular assemblies. But to preserve this post, it was not enough to have once done well. The ambitious citizen could maintain it only by persevering in the career of invention and improvement, for if another man in the same line were judged to excel him, he relinquished to the new comer both his dinners and his seat.[394]

98From this, and other circumstances, it would appear, that there were annual exhibitions of works of art and industry, in principle like our cattle-shows, when a careful scrutiny of every improvement and invention took place, and the premium above described was awarded to the most ingenious. It is very certain that an assembly of the trades, more particularly of the bright-smiths, took place, on the thirtieth of Pyanepsion, in honour of Hephæstos, or Athena, when the festival of Pandemon, or Chalkeia, was celebrated; and the conjecture of Petit[395] is not improbable, that δεῖξις, or exhibition, then took place. It was, perhaps, on the same occasion, that the Athenian potters exhibited their most beautiful works and models.[396] At Sybaris, the author of any invention in the art of cookery enjoyed by patent, during the whole year, a monopoly of the article; and in the same city, the dyers and importers of purple, as well as those who caught and sold eels, were exempted from all taxes and imposts.[397]

A further incitement to industry, and the apprenticing out of children, was the law which freed any one who had not been instructed in some trade, from the necessity of supporting his parents,[398] to which otherwise all persons were strictly bound. Another law of Solon, which, at the same time shows the erroneousness of the common opinion respecting the condition of women at Athens, proves that to bring industry into good repute was a work of some difficulty. By this it was enacted, that any individual who reproached a citizen, whether male or female, with carrying on any business in the Agora, should be liable to a penalty.[399]

There were, however, certain callings which the laws considered disreputable, or, at least, unsuitable 99to a man. Thus, an Athenian citizen could not legally be a perfumer, that effeminate vocation being left to the women.[400] Fishmongers, too, with butchers, cooks, sausage-sellers, fishermen, were held in low estimation both at Rome and Athens. Of all these Attic pariahs, however, the poor wretch who hawked fish,[401] and was contemptuously said to wipe his nose in his sleeve, or with his elbow, engrossed the largest share of public scorn. To these we may add bird-catchers, and fruit-sellers, and those low black-legs who subsisted on gambling.[402]

As an encouragement to the citizens to addict themselves to industrious pursuits, foreigners, and all persons not free of the city, were legally incapacitated from carrying on business in the agora;[403] but this came in later times to be disregarded, since we find Egyptians, Phœnicians, and other aliens, possessing shops, and growing rich there. It was conceived, moreover, that, if men confined themselves to one calling, they would arrive therein at greater excellence; and the law, accordingly, forbade them to be of two trades.[404] Plato, whose ideal republic was modelled in so many particulars on that of Athens, adopted this law; and for the reason I have stated; comprehending thoroughly what advantages arise from the division of labour. He would not, he says, have the cordwainer meddle with husbandry, weaving, or architecture, that he might carry shoemaking to as great perfection as 100possible; and, in other branches of industry, men were in like manner to cultivate that only for which nature had fitted them, and wherein they might thus excel.[405] The same philosopher, while on the subject of industry, makes a remark worthy of consideration: It is not, he says, for the interest of the community, that men engaged in any branch of the arts should be so rich as to be independent of their business or profession, which, in such case, they will be apt to neglect; or so poor as to be harassed in mind, or cramped in the means of carrying on their occupations satisfactorily. In these things, as in every other, a comfortable competence is to be preferred to the extremes both of wealth and poverty.[406]

Another means of carrying the various arts towards perfection, which in India and Egypt prevailed from time immemorial, is supposed to have been a practice, whether founded on law or custom, resembling the system of castes.[407] Theories, not destitute of ingenuity, have been constructed on this view of Athenian society.[408] Thus, the Dædali are supposed to have formed the sculptor caste; the Eupyridæ a caste of husbandmen; the Boutadæ of 101herdsmen; the Ceryces of heralds; the Hephœstiadæ of blacksmiths; the Poimenidæ of shepherds, and so on. Vestiges of this curious state of things are supposed to be discernible in the history of Attica, even so late as the age of Pericles, when we find Socrates a member of the Dædalian clan, by profession a sculptor. There were certainly in religious matters hereditary offices, which none could with propriety fill but the members of a certain family or clan. Thus, from among the Eteobutadæ was chosen the priestess of Athena Polias, who resided in the temple on the Acropolis; and the priest of Poseidon was drawn by lot from the same house.[409] To the Praxiergidæ were entrusted certain duties about the statue of Athena during the Plynterian festival.[410] The descendants of Buzyges performed those sacred ceremonies which thrice a year attended the ploughing of the soil;[411] to mention for the present no more.

But we are not on this account to infer the existence in Attica of anything like the Hindù system of castes, which has itself never been rigidly observed.[412] What happens everywhere took place at Athens: fathers generally found it more convenient to bring up their sons to their own calling,[413] while the latter, observing constantly certain mechanical operations take place under their eye, were led first to admire and then to imitate. Thus the Potter’s boy, as Plato[414] remarks, long ministers to his father before he takes the clay into his own hands and begins to model a vase or tureen.

102At Sparta, the heralds, cooks, and flute-players, constituted so many small castes, in which the profession passed down regularly from father to son. Of the absurdity of this practice Herodotus was fully sensible, for he observes, that a man was chosen to be a herald not for the loudness of his voice, but because he was a herald’s son.[415] Upon the whole, however, the practice was no more general among the Greeks than it is in England. When it became fashionable to ape gentility, rustic hinds, like Strepsiades in the “Clouds,” found their sons ashamed of the humble callings by which their childhood had been supported; a passion for aristocratic distinction infested the bosom of the vulgar; all desired to appear what they were not; and, despite the wise institutions of Solon, handicraftsmen and artificers sunk into hopeless contempt.[416] For this reason most trades by degrees were exercised by foreigners, who frequently acquired wealth and independence.

Notwithstanding this result, however, at which they arrived but slowly, both manufactures and every other branch of industry were in Greece, and at Athens more particularly, carried to a very high pitch of perfection. Even in the very lowest trades the love of gain, or the necessity of somehow earning a subsistence, led men to persevere. For example, in the occupation of a common fisherman, from which little beyond penury could be hoped for, and which impressed upon the countenance that 103sordid aspect so successfully represented by Hellenic art,[417] there were always numbers ready to engage. And yet consider in Theocritus[418] their wretched life, sleeping in their weather-beaten hut on the bleak shore, amid heaps of nets, piscatory baskets, lines, &c., and there dreaming, as indigence often does, of discovered treasures and ingots of gold. The patient endurance of the hungry fishers, seated far above the water on steep rocks, watching the entrance of the huge prey into their nets, appears to have been proverbial.[419]

In the superior trades and manufactures there was among several cities an emulation, the result of which was to produce constant improvement. Athens, for example, which excelled in pottery, had rivals in Aulis, Rhodes, Megara, Corinth, Cnidos, 104and several other cities; Sicily and Bœotia were famous for their chariots; Argos for the manufacture of arms; Thessaly for its easy chairs; Chios and Miletos for their beds; Etruria for its gold-plate and works in bronze.[420]

It is to be regretted that into the practice of the several trades and useful arts we can see but a very little way. In order, however, to render our idea of Hellenic civilisation as complete as possible, I shall here bring together as many particulars as I have been able to discover on this subject, commencing with those trades which were of primary necessity.[421] Of these, that of the miller may doubtless be regarded as of the first importance. In very early ages men understood not the art of reducing corn into meal; but either roasted the unripe ears upon the fire, or parched the separated grains in small fryingpans.[422] In process of time, however, the pestle and mortar were invented, by means of which,[423] though at a great expense of labour, flour of the finest possible quality could be obtained. To these succeeded the handmill, an invention of very remote ages,[424] which, notwithstanding, 105continued in use down to the days of Cicero. This machine, both in Greece and Italy, was at first commonly worked by women,[425] more especially by female slaves. But afterward the rudest and worst conducted of the male domestics were condemned to this severe toil, which at length grew to be regarded in the light of a punishment,[426] as working at the treadmill with us. Among the wealthy, each master of a family possessed his own mill; but as civilisation advanced, the grinding of corn constituted a separate occupation, and the trade of the miller was established. Public mills[427] were common at Athens in the time of Socrates, and it does not appear to have been unusual for strong and sturdy men of free condition to labour for hire in these establishments.

Thus we find that the philosophers Menedemos and Asclepiades, when young and poor, earned their subsistence, and were enabled to pursue the study of philosophy, by working at night in a mill.[428] As few persons knew this circumstance, and they were observed all day among the learned in the schools, some one brought against them an accusation of idleness, for which they were cited before the senate of Areopagos. In order to prove that they gained their livelihood in an honest way, the miller for whom they worked was brought forward. His testimony 106confirmed their statement; and he added, moreover, that he paid to each of them two drachmas per night. The Areopagites were so pleased with this proof of their industry and passion for philosophy, that, on pronouncing their acquittal, they at the same time made them a present of two hundred drachmas.[429] But these mills were not always put in motion by the hand of man. Yoked to beams projecting from the upper millstone, oxen and asses, moving about in a circle, blindfold, as at present, when similarly employed, sometimes turned the mill instead of slaves.[430] Upon the construction of these machines little exact information was possessed before the laying open of the ruins of Pompeii, where, in a baker’s shop, four mills, still almost perfect, have been discovered. They consist of a round stone basement with a rim, from the centre of which springs a blunt cone: this is the nether millstone. The upper one consists of an imperfect cylinder, hollowed out within, like an hour-glass, one part of which fits like a cap upon the cone below, while the other expands its bell-mouth above. Into this the corn was poured, and, descending through four small apertures upon the nether stone, was, by the turning round of the upper one thereon, reduced to meal, which passed gradually down, fining as it went, and fell out upon the stone basement below. The corn having been ground, the next operation was, to sever the flour from the bran, though sometimes bread was made from it in the rough,[431] and regarded, moreover, as extremely wholesome. First, and most simple of these contrivances, was the sieve,[432] made with slender rushes, which separated the coarse bran and produced a meal sufficiently cleansed for household bread. A much superior sieve was manufactured with linen threads, by which the flour was 107bolted to a great degree of fineness. When it was required of still superior purity and whiteness, the bolter would seem to have been bottomed with threads of woollen, which, being woven close, allowed nothing but particles of the utmost tenuity to pass.[433] All the above operations were supposed to be placed under the superintendence of a particular deity named Eunostos,[434] of whom no mention, I believe, is made in modern systems of mythology.

The ancients employed in the making of bread a great many kinds of grain besides wheat[435] and barley;[436] as rye, millet, which was little nourishing, panic, which was still less so,[437] sesame, olyra, spelt, rice, tiphe, and a sort of grain from Ethiopia, called orindion. Several other substances were likewise used for the same purpose, not for the sake of adulteration, but either to improve the taste, or from reasons of economy; such as the root of the lotos,[438] and, perhaps, of the day-lily[439] dried, and reduced, like wheat itself, to flour; and the root of the corn-flag,[440] 108which was previously boiled, and, for the sake of communicating a sweet taste to the bread, would appear to have been mixed with the dough as the meal of the potato is in modern times. This plant grew most plentifully in grounds frequented by the mole, which loved to feed upon it. Another ingredient often mixed with bread was, the pulpy seed of the Star of Bethlehem,[441] of which the root likewise was eaten, both raw and cooked.

The seed of the pepper-wort,[442] also, was sprinkled over cakes. Among the Thracians, about the river Strymon, they made bread from the flour of the water-caltron,[443] a prickly root of a triangular form, which abounds in the lagoons about Venice, where it is sold commonly in the market-places, and roasted for the table in hot embers.[444] The root of the dragon-wort,[445] eaten both raw and cooked in Greece, was, in the Balearic isles, served up fried with honey at banquets instead of cakes. They gathered it in harvest time, and, having roasted, cut it in slices, which were then strung on a cord and dried in the shade for keeping. The seeds of the garden poppy were used in bread-making, perhaps like carraway-seeds with us, as were those of the wild poppy for medicinal purposes in honeycakes, and certain kinds of sweetmeats.[446] They had in Syria a kind of bread made of mulberries, which caused the hair of those who habitually fed on it to fall off.[447]

Although in the establishments of the wealthy bread was usually made by the women of the family, whether servile or free, the art of the baker seems early to have been practised as a separate business,[448] frequently at Athens by foreigners. The Lydian bakers, for example,[449] like those of France 109and Germany among us, enjoyed considerable celebrity, as did likewise the Cappadocians and Phœnicians, the art of the last having been able, it is said, to vary the qualities of the loaf every day in the year.[450]

Of the form and structure of a baker’s establishment we may acquire some conception from the ruins of Pompeii, where the mills, the ovens, the kneading-troughs,[451] small and great, would appear to have been sometimes of stone, though generally, perhaps, of wood. When the dough had been properly kneaded and leavened,[452] it was removed to a table with a rim, and fashioned into a variety of forms by the hand or with moulds. The larger loaves were placed in rows in a capacious oven, in which wood had been burnt and raked out carefully. Sometimes, also, a fire would appear to have been kept up in an open space round the oven, having at the top a smoke vent. One kind of loaf was baked in a small fictile or iron oven, called cribanos,[453] which was either placed on the fire, or surrounded by hot coals. There was another which they toasted before the fire on a spit;[454] and a great variety of cakes were baked on the live coals, or in the ashes.[455]

These it would require a separate treatise to enumerate 110and describe, since fashion appears to have been constantly varying the materials, the forms, and the appellations, of loaves. Upon the whole, however, the bread sold in the market-place of Athens was esteemed the whitest and most delicious in Greece; for the Rhodians, speaking partially of the produce of their own ovens, supposed they were bestowing on it the highest compliment when they said it was not inferior to that of Athens.[456] The dimensions of loaves depended, of course, on the object of the baker, and varied from those of the smallest roll, prepared for people of delicate appetites, to those of the enormous obeliæ, sometimes containing upwards of three bushels of flour, borne in procession at the festival of Dionysos.[457]

The business of the confectioner was in scarcely less request, or less profitable, than that of the baker himself. In most cases, perhaps, the finer kinds of pastry were made by women,[458] whose taste and skill enabled them to gratify the lovers of delicacies with an infinite variety of sweetmeats. The vocabulary connected with this division of the art culinary is singularly rich, but, in many cases, conveys to our minds very little precise information. It may be inferred, however, with something like certainty, that the stock of an Athenian confectioner contained most of those delicious trifles now to be found in the establishments of their successors in London or Paris. It will, consequently, be impossible to enumerate them, or to specify the several ingredients which entered into their composition. It has already, I believe, been observed, in speaking of wine, that the ancients were exceedingly partial to sweets, which, in the making of their confectionary, led them to the constant employment of honey. Most of their favourite cakes contained some portion of this ingredient,[459] sometimes, indeed, 111found in company with other articles apparently little calculated to combine with it. Wine, too, and cheese, and milk, and seeds, and the juices of vegetables, entered into the composition of various sweetmeats, which were occasionally made to keep long, as when intended for exportation; occasionally to be consumed at the moment, as they issued hot from the oven or the fryingpan. To this latter class belonged those delicate pancakes, the paste of which was poured liquid into the fryingpan, then flooded atop with fresh honey, and sprinkled with sesame and grated cheese.[460] The taste for the catillus ornatus the Greeks appear to have borrowed from the Romans. This was a rich cake, composed of fine flour, kneaded with lard and the juice of lettuces, pounded in a mortar with wine, seasoned with pepper, and fried in boiling oil.[461] Among their pastry was a sort of pie made of vine-birds[462] and beccaficoes,[463] the undercrust of which, kneaded with honey, was sometimes moistened at table in chicken-broth.[464]

These cakes and sweetmeats were sometimes fashioned into very extraordinary forms; one sort, for example, representing the female breast,[465] another a perfect sphere,[466] a third the head and horns of an ox,[467] while others were wrought into mystical figures, and appropriated to certain festivals of the Pagan calendar. The cake called Chærinè, made with the flour of parched wheat and honey, was bestowed as a prize on those who, during the Pannuchia, remained awake all night.[468]

The trade of the butcher[469] was carried on at Athens by citizens,[470] whose shops in the Agora 112would seem to have been extremely well furnished, containing every variety of meat, from the chine of a prize ox,[471] to the hind quarter of an ass.[472] Sheep’s and kids’ heads were commonly sought to be rendered more attractive by having a branch of myrtle stuck between the teeth, whence one of the hetairæ was compared to a goat’s head, because she often walked the street with a sprig of myrtle in her mouth.[473] The information which antiquity has left us respecting butchers’ shops and implements is extremely imperfect. We are told simply, that they had chopping-blocks and cleavers, large axes with which animals were felled in the slaughter-houses, flaying knives, hooks whereon to suspend and display their stock, with scales for weighing meat.[474] A very curious anecdote is related of a Milesian butcher: there was a man named Killicon, who betrayed his native city Miletos, to the Prienians. Among his countrymen, who on this occasion became fugitives, was a butcher. This man fled to Samos, where he carried on his old business.[475] Some time after Killicon himself came to that island, and going into the market to buy provisions, by chance addressed himself to the Milesian butcher, whose name was Theagenes. The man remembered the traitor, and when he would have bought of him a 113piece of meat, desired Killicon to lay hold of the part he wanted, while he severed it from the carcase; then taking up an axe he smote off his hand, saying, “With that hand, at least, you shall never again betray your country.”[476]

The vintners and tavern-keepers, who were tolerably numerous in Greece,[477] appear to have acquired much the same reputation as they enjoy in modern times. It was regarded as a matter of some difficulty to discover a jar of pure wine beneath their roofs; and, indeed, the honest vine-growers of the country are accused of having understood the art of making Bacchos acquainted with the nymphs on his way to the city. In other words they sold from their waggons in the Agora[478] a certain quantity of the Ilissos, mingled with the juice of the grape. The tavern-keepers, however, stood in very little need of their assistance, since they were not merely adepts in watering and doctoring their wines, but were skilful at giving short measure;[479] and yet understood various contrivances for alluring people to their houses. Thus one of them, for example, used to present a club that dined at his tavern with a kid,[480] reckoning upon paying himself by the profits of the wine.[481] However, when an opulent and delicate company honoured them with their presence, they could, doubtless, supply wines of the finest flavour; and to render them still more delicious, they were accustomed in summer to plunge the flagons into snow,[482] or, occasionally, to mingle it with the wine, as is still the 114fashion at Naples and in Sicily. Taverns, therefore, were furnished with ice-cellars, where snow could be kept during the hottest weather. Alexander[483] found means of carrying along with him a quantity of this article of luxury into India, where he probably treated Taxilos and Poros with iced wines. This achievement was imitated many ages after by the Khalif Mahadi, who on his pilgrimage to Mecca traversed the desert accompanied by a numerous train of camels laden with ice and snow, the first, according to Oriental historians, ever beheld in the Holy Cities. In the island of Cimolos, people made use, as coolers, of deep pits, in which jars of soft and tepid water,[484] and, doubtless, wine also, were refrigerated.[485]

The wine was laid up in jars, skins, and flasks, which, like the oil-flasks of Florence and Lucca, were cased with fine basket-work.[486] The measures in use were numerous, and somewhat difficult to be reduced with exactness to those of modern times: the metretes (ten gallons two pints) contained twelve choes; the chous (about six pints) six xestæ; the xestes (one pint) two cotylæ; the cotyla (half-pint) two tetarti; the tetarton (one quartern) two oxybapha; the oxybaphon, one cyathus and a-half; 115the cyathus, two conchæ; the concha, two mystra; the mystron, one chema and a-half; the chema, two cochlearia.[487]

Respecting the price of wines[488] our information is exceedingly imperfect; for although it be frequently stated how much a certain measure cost, the quality of the wine not being mentioned at the same time, we are very little nearer any real knowledge of the value. In Lusitania, ten gallons of pure wine were at one period sold for three-pence; at Athens the price of the metretes,[489] appears to have varied from about one and eight-pence, to three and four-pence, though occasionally it rose as high as about ten shillings. Even of the Mendæan, a wine of very superior quality, the wholesale price did not, at one period, exceed two drachmas, the metretes; but as the innkeepers were accused of having made enormous profits, it is at the same time quite credible, that they should occasionally have charged an obolos for the hemicotyla, especially to tipling women. Elsewhere, however, we find the chous, or twelve cotylæ, sold for an obolos,[490] the price, doubtless, depending partly on the quality of the wine, partly on the conscience of the innkeeper. For, notwithstanding that there were at Athens three magistrates charged with the inspection of wines,[491] part of whose business it probably was to prevent adulteration and exorbitant prices, the vintners, male and female, in all likelihood were an overmatch for them.

Most of the means by which the ancients adulterated their wines appear to be unknown to us, though we find that they endeavoured to restore the taste of such as were spoiled, by mingling with them a certain quantity of boiled wine[492] and preparations 116of lime and gypsum. To check the progress of the second fermentation, they were sometimes in the habit of casting a pumice-stone into the jar;[493] but where wine was so cheap, there was little temptation to have recourse to any other art than that of watering a little, which, according to the comic poet, might proceed from a benevolent desire to keep men sober and preserve their health.[494]

The stock of a respectable wine-merchant must have been peculiarly rich and varied,[495] consisting of the Anthosmias, a wine of delicious fragrance; the Lesbian,[496] a favourite wine of Alcibiades;[497] the Pramnian,[498] a strong rough wine, celebrated by Homer;[499] the Lemnian, quaffed by the heroes before Troy;[500] the Chian, light and delicate;[501] the Kapnian, from Beneventum in Italy,[502] a sharp red wine which made the eyes water like smoke;[503] the Mesogeites, from Mount Tmolos,[504] which, however delicious might be its taste, gave those who drank it the head-ache; the Phygelites, from Ephesos, equal to that of Lesbos; those of Cos and Clazomenè, pleasant when new, but which would not keep because mixed with sea-water; the Cydonian;[505] the Maronæan,[506] 117of great strength; the Mendæan;[507] the Mareotic;[508] the Port; and the Thasian, which may be regarded as the flower of the whole for excellence and celebrity.[509]

There were several wines among the ancients which acquired peculiar qualities and flavour from the way in which they were made or preserved. Thus, in Galatia,[510] where, as the grapes ripened but imperfectly, the wine had a tendency to grow sour, a hemicotyla of resin was poured into the metretes of wine, which gave it at first a harsh taste, though in time it acquired a better flavour. In this process the resin was pounded in a mortar, with a quantity of the pine-bark. Some persons allowed it to remain in the vessel, while others strained it off immediately after fermentation. The wine which was preserved by an infusion of pitch,[511] was manufactured in the following manner: the pitch was washed with brine and sea-water[512] until it whitened, then cleansed perfectly with fresh-water, after which an ounce or two was mingled with eight choes of wine. The saline wines were made[513] either by dipping the bunches as gathered into sea-water, or sprinkling them therewith, or pouring it along with them into the press after they had been dried in the sun. But in whatever manner prepared, wines of this description were regarded with an evil eye by physicians.

Among the other riches of an Hellenic cellar were 118mead or metheglin,[514] and hydromel[515] and omphacomel,[516] with perry and cider,[517] and palm-wine[518] and fig-wine[519] and quince-wine[520] and lotos[521] and pomegranate-wine.[522]

Numerous odoriferous plants were likewise employed in communicating a variety of flavours and fragrance to wine, as the rose,[523] thyme,[524] germander,[525] anis,[526] œnanthe,[527] wormwood,[528] betony,[529] southern-wood,[530] squills,[531] myrtle,[532] mastic,[533] terebinth,[534] sycamore,[535] fir-cones,[536] cedar-cones,[537] cypress-cones,[538] juniper-berries,[539] pitch, and larchtree-cones.[540] Almost every other aromatic plant, shrub, and tree, was in like manner, employed to communicate a flavour, or an odour, to wine, chiefly, however, for medicinal purposes; and among these was the hyssop, whose leaves were used in the following manner: a pound of them, having been well bruised, were tied up in a sort of gauze, and by the weight of a few intermingled pebbles sunk 119to the bottom of the amphora. Here they were permitted to remain forty days, after which the wine was racked.[541] Of these wines that which was tinctured with rose-leaves was commonly drunk after dinner to promote digestion.[542] That which, about the Propontis and Thrace, was flavoured with wormwood, people destined for their summer drink, considering it favourable to health.[543]

The greatest enemies of the vintners[544] were the physicians who, by dwelling on the pernicious qualities of wine, deterred the reasonable part of the world from a too frequent use of it. Old wine, they maintained, shatters the nerves and produces headache; new wine is the parent of horrible dreams. That which is middling, however, for example, about seven years old, is liable to fewer objections, and may upon the whole be drunk with some degree of safety. White wine, too, according to their opinion, is better than red, since it corroborates the stomach, and is, probably, that kind which, when of a proper age, produces pleasant dreams.[545] Pure wine, in general, moreover, was admitted to improve the health and beautify the complexion; and Pindar, whom most persons will allow to have been a good judge, though he could not, like Anacreon, dispose of a cask at a sitting,[546] declares in favour of old wine and new songs.

Of beer, though, as we have elsewhere remarked, it was familiarly known to the Egyptians,[547] as well as to the inhabitants of Gaul, Spain, and Britain, who manufactured it from barley and service-berries, as the people of Dantzic now do from the hips of the wild roses,[548] we need say nothing, as the Greeks were 120so ignorant of its nature, that when the Ten Thousand met with a quantity in Armenia they diluted it with water as they were accustomed to do their wine, that is to say, entirely spoiled it.[549] The establishments of these vintners were almost of necessity most frequent in the neighbourhood of the agora,[550] where the rustics from the country congregated in crowds on market-days; where were held also, on many occasions, the public assemblies; and where newsmongers and loungers of every description most generally passed their leisure hours.

Making due allowance for difference of dimensions, and their greater or less magnificence, the same description will apply to the agoræ of all Grecian cities. But, as we are best acquainted with the features of that of Athens, if we can succeed in delineating a tolerably correct picture of it, some idea may, therefrom, be easily formed of all the others. We must imagine, therefore, a large circular open space,[551] about the centre of the city, surrounded on all sides by ranges of shops, temples, porticoes, and other public buildings.[552] It was traversed in various directions by avenues of plane-trees, planted shortly after the Persian war, which in summer constituted so many shady walks. About the middle stood the altars of Pity and the Twelve Gods, in a circle,[553] and near them were the statues of Harmodios and Aristogeiton,[554] the tyrannicides, whose memory was cherished by the republic with 121the most religious veneration. By far the greater part of the space, however, was covered by rows of sheds, booths, and tents, furnished with seats[555] (the construction of which formed a separate branch of industry),[556] where every article of use or luxury known to the ancient world was exhibited with the utmost attention to display. Here were the embroidered veils, and shawls, and mantles, and sandals, of the mercer’s quarter;[557] there the chains of gold, the armlets, the anklets, the jewelled circlets for the head, the golden grasshoppers, the seals, the rings, the agraffes, the brooches, the cameos, and every description of engraved gems which constituted the attractions of the jewellers’ quarter. Here were waggons piled with jars, and skins filled with wine; there huge pyramids of apples and pears, and quinces and pomegranates, and dates and plums, and cherries and mulberries, black and white, and grape-clusters of every hue, and oranges and citrons, and rich purple figs, and melons and water-melons.[558]

Touching upon these booths were the stalls of the green-grocers, of Eucharides[559] for example, where every vegetable produced in the kitchen-garden and the fields met the eye in profusion; among which were truffles of all kinds,[560] with the roots of the caraway[561] and jagged lettuce, which were eaten like those of the Egyptian bean[562] and the papyrus,[563] radishes,[564] long and round, bunches of turnips,[565] asparagus, broccoli,[566] heads of garlic, and summer savory, 122for the poor, all kinds of beans and pease, the vervain[567] for purification and amulets, wild myrtle sprigs instead of asparagus,[568] shoots of the black briony,[569] chokeweed to be boiled with vegetables for rendering them tender, tufts of the wild fig-tree, which performed the same service for beef,[570] goats-beard, clematis for seasoning,[571] with bunches of elm-leaves commonly used as a vegetable.[572] Next to these, were, perhaps, the stands of the flower-sellers,[573] where garlands of the richest colours and fragrance were ready wreathed for the brow,[574] some produced by careful culture in gardens, and others gathered where they grew wild by the women, who in time of peace 123spread themselves in troops over the whole country for this purpose.[575] In one corner were droves of horses, asses, and mules,[576] ready to have their teeth inspected by the buyers,[577] or groups of youthful slaves from all quarters of the world. In another, near a lofty poplar,[578] stood the auction-mart where goods of every description,[579] including even libraries,[580] were knocked down by the hammer. Close at hand, perhaps, stood the tempting booths of the chapmen who purveyed for the kitchen of the Athenians with hams, and sausages, and black-puddings,[581] and pickles, and cheese, and preserved fruits, and spices, from the farthest east. Here were the sellers[582] of salt-meat and fish from the Black Sea,[583] there the toy-shops and upholsterers, while ever and anon the crowds that thronged the passages were compelled to make way for a string of asses[584] laden with vegetables or wood from Parnes or Cithæron, with the ends sticking out on both sides and threatening the eyes of the buyers. Sometimes a porter,[585] with a wooden knot on his shoulders, bore along, like Protagoras, a load of faggots, the size of which astonished the beholders. At times, near the corner of the street leading from the Eleusinian Gate, you 124saw a half-starved Megarean[586] sneaking through the crowd and bringing along with him sucking pigs, and leverets, and cucumbers, and salt-fish, and garlic,[587] which if observed by the agoranomoi were, during wartime, seized as contraband. On the other hand the broad-faced jolly Bœotian[588] came smirking and grinning, like a Neapolitan, with mule-loads of wild marjoram, pennyroyal, eaten by sheep, mats, lampwicks, fowls,[589] ducks, locusts, jackdaws, francolins,[590] coots, divers, geese, hares, foxes, moles, hedgehogs, cats, pyctides, otters, and eels, from Lake Copaïs. Here in rows stood, black as chimney-sweeps, the charcoal-sellers from Acharnæ, with their mallequins and rush-baskets full piled before them.[591] Yonder were the cornchandlers,[592] surrounded by piles of sacks, measuring their grain, while a horde of ragged spermologoi[593] hovered round to collect what fell. Close at hand stood the flour-merchants, each beside his huge covered wooden trough,[594] from which he measured 125forth flour or barley-meal to the buyers. Beyond these were the stalls of the fishmongers,[595] the flambeau-sellers[596] and the shining jars of the oil-merchants, piled in heaps to the roof of the booths. In other rows were the shops of the potters,[597] where every variety of jugs, vases, and tureens, was exhibited with vessels of glass, and bronze, and ivory. Here and there, threading their way through the multitude, you beheld the pedlar[598] with his pack of small-wares, the hawker crying his fish or fruit,[599] or vegetables, or sausages, or wild-fowl, laid out on a board on his head; the female bread-seller, with a variety of delicate loaves and cakes piled up before her on a tray; the pastry-girl with sweetmeats; the flower-girl with nosegays of fresh violets from the meadows of Colonos and the banks of the Eridanos and Cephissos. Sheltered from the warm rays of the sun, beneath some magnificent marble colonnade, or the portico of some temple or chapel, sat whole bevies of female flute-players, citharists, or dancing-girls,[600] calling forth, from time to time, whilst waiting to be hired for a party, bursts of music from their instruments, or humming a war-song, or a Palladian hymn, or a merry scholion, the favourite ditties of the Athenian people. Near these, as being folks of the same kidney, the jugglers, cooks, and parasites,[601] took up their position; the former two ready to be hired for the day by the giver of some magnificent entertainment, the latter that they might discover in what direction they were to ply their 126craft and ferret out a dinner scotfree. Near the Eurysaceum in this neighbourhood stood that eminence called the Hill of the Agora,[602] or Misthios, because servants, in lack of a master, collected there to be hired, as they still do at fairs in most parts of England. Somewhere close at hand were the shops of those brokers who let out pots and pans, and lamps and plate, and the more delicate kind of crockery, to such persons as were too economical to keep such articles of their own.[603] In the midst of this profusion of wares might be seen, at all hours of the day, crowds of well-dressed persons[604] sauntering to and fro, chatting with each other, cheapening the goods of the shopkeepers, or laughing and jesting with the flower-girls or fluteplayers. At other times individuals, by no means deserving the name of loiterers, came thither, either to post up a bill[605] of some article which they had found, or in quest of some information respecting one they had lost, either from such bills or from the public criers who were there accustomed to make proclamation of treasure trove, or to cry that such or such an article of property had strayed from its lawful owner. Occasionally also people made known by criers what goods they had for sale.[606] The young men of rank, when fatigued by these promenades, used to retire into a perfumer’s or barber’s or armourer’s or bridle-maker’s shop,[607] overlooking the bustling scene, where they discussed nonsense or politics, according to their humour. Hither, too, the philosophers came with a view to inspire patriotic and manly sentiments into the minds of these future rulers of the democracy; so that at one period you might have beheld Socrates and Alcibiades and Critias, and Chæriphon and Crito, with Charmides 127and the divine Plato, engaged in those animated dialogues, the echo of which still rings sweetly in the ears of posterity. In some shops opposite these, as if with a view to rival or eclipse them, or round one of the umbrellas,[608] beneath which, on an elevated platform, the perfumers dispensed their wares in the agora, stood a group of sophists with their followers, such as Hippias of Elis, Prodicos of Cos, or the Agrigentine Polos, or Gorgias of Leontium, habited in purple robes, embroidered vests, flowered sandals, and with glittering crowns of gold upon their heads. Even their florid discourses, however, would fail to command the attention of their auditors when the youth of equestrian rank,[609] mounted on their chargers and drawn up in military array, swept round the outer circle of the agora, paying devout homage to each divinity whose fane they passed. Here also in a future age might be seen, strutting to and fro, the orator Æschines with his arms akimbo and a fashionable little hat[610] stuck knowingly on one side of his head, railing at Demosthenes, and pleading the cause of Philip. And here, too, the night after the fall of Elatea, a very different scene was witnessed when the citizens from every side of the Cecropian rock rushed tumultuously hither in the wildest alarm, and either not reflecting on what they did, or through ill-judged haste, set fire to the sheds and booths in order that they might find a clear space to deliberate on the public safety.

As there was a certain class of gods who presided over the market-place, so likewise were there particular laws enacted to regulate its transactions, with magistrates especially appointed to carry those laws into execution. These servants of the commonwealth, five in the city and five in the Peiræeus, were denominated Agoranomoi, and paraded all day to and fro, 128armed with whips of many thongs,[611] amid the crowds of buyers and sellers, both to preserve tranquillity in the market, and prevent or punish those petty acts of fraud and injustice to which persons who subsist by humble traffic are too often in all countries addicted. Thus we find that, not the vintners only, but even the cornchandlers kept small measures;[612] though, as there was a public meter appointed by the state, it could only be when purchasers neglected to employ him, that they lay open to this sort of imposition. Chapmen detected in cheating, or otherwise behaving with impropriety, were scourged by the Agoranomoi on the spot; and it is to be presumed, that, as often as necessary, these officers were attended by a detachment of that powerful and vigilant Scythian police, at one period a thousand strong, which Athens constantly maintained, and which formerly pitched its tents in the agora.[613] Another duty of the Agoranomoi[614] was to collect the tolls paid by Bœotians, Æginetæ, or Megareans, upon whatever articles they brought to the Athenian market. It should here be observed, however, that neither corn nor bread was in later times, at least, placed under the inspection of these magistrates, since there were others called Sitophylaces,[615] whose business it was to see that the public were not defrauded in such articles. The number of these officers, at first three, was afterwards increased to fifteen, of which ten presided over the city corn-market, and five over that of the harbour, where a portico was built by Pericles[616] for the special use of the cornchandlers and flour-merchants.

129On the prices of articles,[617] our information is extremely incomplete: it is said, however, that an ox in Solon’s time, was sold for five drachmas,[618] a sheep for one; while about the same period, the former animal sold at Rome for a hundred oboloi, and the latter for ten. In the later, and what are called the more flourishing, ages of the commonwealth, a sheep, according to its age, size, and breed, fetched from ten to twenty drachmas, an ox from fifty to a hundred. The price of a fine saddle-horse, in the age of Pericles, was twelve minæ, or about fifty pounds sterling,[619] but a common animal for draught might be obtained for three minæ. The price of thirteen talents paid by Alexander for Bucephalos was a mere arbitrary piece of extravagance. A yoke of mules sold from five to eight minas; asses sometimes for thirty drachmas;[620] a sucking-pig for three drachmas;[621] a dove or a crow fetched three oboloi; a jackdaw or a partridge one obolos, though the philosopher Aristippos chose to give fifty drachmas for a single bird of this kind; seven chaffinches for an obolos. A chœnix of olives cost two chalci, and a cotyla of the best Attic honey five drachmas.

The weights and measures[622] in common use at Athens were the talent (65 lbs. 12 dwt. 5 grs.) equal to sixty minæ; the mina (1 lb. 1 oz. 4 grs.) equal to a hundred drachmas; the drachma (6 dwt. 2 grs.) equal to six oboloi; the obolos (9 grs.) equal to three 130keratia; the keration[623] three grains. The Athenian dry measures were the medimnos, equal to six hecteis;[624] the hecteus, equal to two hemihecteis; the hemihecton, equal to four chœnices; the chœnix, equal to two xestæ; the xestes, equal to two cotylæ; the cotyla, equal to four oxybapha; the oxybaphon, equal to one cyathos and a half;[625] the cyathos, equal to ten cochlearia.

Of the other measures that occur in ancient authors, it may be worth while to mention the Persian artabe,[626] (hodie ardeb,) which exceeded the Attic medimnos by about three chœnices; the akanè,[627] likewise a Persian measure, equal to forty-five Attic medimnoi or a Bœotian measure equal to two bushels; the addix[628] equal to four chœnices; the dadix[629] to six; the capithe to two; the maris to six cotylæ,[630] the cophinos, a Bœotian measure, to three choes.[631]

389. Lord Bacon, whose opinions were chiefly based on the study of antiquity, observes, after Plato and Aristotle, that military nations will always be somewhat inclined to idleness, and should rather be indulged in it than otherwise. Essays, p. 79. But both the Athenians and Romans were a hardworking people, and better soldiers have never been known. The best soldiers in the English army are drawn from the central provinces, where industry most abounds, and the laborious Normans are the best troops in France. Cf. Plut. Ages. § 26.

390. Plut. Lycurg. § 24.

391. Diog. Laert. i. ii. § 53. Plut. Sol. §§ 22. 31. Herod. ii. 177. Pollux. viii. 40. Ælian. Var. Hist. iv. 1.

392. Poll. viii. 40. Plut. Sol. § 17.

393. In Plutarch’s life of Pericles there occurs a very remarkable passage, describing the constant employment and plenty which were diffused through the city by the policy of that great statesman. As for the mechanics and meaner sort of people, they went not without their share of the public money, nor yet received it to maintain them in idleness. By the constructing of great edifices, which require many arts, and a long time to finish them, they had equal pretensions to be recompensed out of the treasury, (though they stirred not from the city,) with the mariners, soldiers, and garrisons. For the different materials, such as stone, brass, ivory, gold, ebony, and cypress, furnished employment to carpenters, masons, braziers, goldsmiths, painters, turners, and other artificers; the conveyance of them by sea employed merchants and sailors, and, by land, wheelwrights, waggoners, carriers, rope-makers, leather-cutters, paviers, and iron-founders; and every art had a number of the lower people ranged in proper subordination to execute it, like soldiers under the command of a general. Thus, by the exercise of these different trades, was plenty diffused among persons of every rank and condition. § 12. Engl. Trans.

394. Aristoph. Ran. 761, ibique Schol. Cf. Meurs. Them. Att. p. 106.

395. Cf. Legg. Att. vi. 6. 426, with Meurs. Gr. Feriat. p. 274, sqq.

396. Cf. Winkelm. Hist. de l’Art, i. 28. Meurs. Gr. Fer. v. Δαίδαλα. p. 74, sqq.

397. Athen. xii. 22.

398. Plut. Sol. § 22.

399. Demosth. cont. Eubul. § 10.

400. Athen. xiii. 94. xv. 34.

401. In the Peloponnesos we find it was the custom for itinerant icthyopolists to carry fish in baskets probably, suspended from both ends of a rough pole (τραχεῖα ἄσιλλα) thrown across the shoulders. This fact is alluded to in an Olympic inscription preserved in part by Aristotle. Rhet. i. 7.

402. Casaub. ad Theoph. Charact. p. 185. On sedentary trades, see Poll. i. 51, and Muret, ad Arist. Eth. p. 63.

403. Demosth. in Eubulid. § 10. The Lydians were said to be the first retail traders. Herod. i. 94. Cf. Huet, Hist. of Commerce, p. 52.

404. Demosth. in Timocrat. § 32. Ulpian ad loc. Arist. Polit. ii. 11. p. 55. Bekk. Petit, Legg. Att. p. 425. Potter, i. 199.

405. Repub. ii. § 11. Stallb. Cf. iii. § 7. In the Laws he states these reasons more strongly, t. viii. p. 110.

406. Repub. iv. 2. Stallb.

407. Cf. Plut. Sol. § 23.

408. The younger Ilgen, for example, has written a clever work, in which he endeavours to prove the existence of a system of castes in Athenian society. He sets out with giving an account of the four ancient tribes, and explains the appellations bestowed on them, viz. Γελέοντες or Τελέοντες, Ἀργαδεῖς, Αἰγικορεῖς and Ὅπλητες, to denote the pursuits in which the members of those tribes were engaged. This done, he draws his conclusion: “Quod si verum est,” says he, “efficitur, Tribus hasce nihil aliud fuisse, quàm ordines variis negotiis distinctos et separatos, quales apud Ægyptos et Indos cognovimus, et quos Lusitano vocabulo Castas appellare solemus. Tale vero institutum num apud Atticos exstiterit, multum à viris doctis est dubitatum. At licet sint, quæ in contrariam sententiam aliquem ducere possint, tamen argumenta, quæ revera Tribus castis orientalibus similes fuisse suadent, tam sunt et multa et gravia, ut non debeat dubitari.” Disquisit. de Trib. Att. p. 8, seq.

409. Harpocrat. in v. Apollod. iii. 15. 1. Bossier, de Gent. et Famil. Att. Sacerd. p. 5, seq.

410. Plut. Alcib. § 34.

411. Plut. Præcept. Conjug. § 42.

412. See the Hindoos, vol. i. p. 111, seq.

413. When, however, they were put out to other masters an agreement, corresponding to our indentures, was drawn up, in which it was stated what they were to be taught. Xenoph. De Vectig. ii. 2. A further resemblance to our own manners is discoverable in the practice of giving premiums with apprentices, even in the case of the medical profession. Plat. Menon. t. iii. p. 369.

414. De Repub. v. c. 14. Stallb.

415. Herod. vi. 60.

416. Muret, in Arist. Ethic. i. p. 63. Plutarch, generally judicious and wise in his remarks, exhibits unequivocal tokens of his Bœotian soul by endeavouring in one part of his writings to class even poetry and sculpture among things disreputable to those who practised them: Ἡ δ᾽ αὐτουργία τῶν ταπεινῶν, τῆς εἰς τὰ καλὰ ῥαθυμὶας μάρτυρα τὸν ἐν τοῖς ἀχρήστοις πόνον παρέχεται καθ᾽ αὑτῆς· καὶ οὐδεὶς εὐφυὴς νέος, ἢ τὸν ἐν Πίσῃ θεασάμενος Δία, γενέσθαι φειδίας ἐπεθύμησεν, ἢ τὴν Ἣραν τὴν ἐν Ἄργει, Πολύκλειτος, οὐδ᾽ Ἀνακρέων, ἢ Φιλήμων, ἢ Ἀρχίλοχος, ἡσθεὶς αὐτῶν τοῖς ποιήμασιν. Οὐ γὰρ ἀναγκαῖον, εἰ τέρπει τὸ ἔργον ὡς χάριεν, ἄξιον σπουδῆς εἶναι τὸν εἰργασμένον. Vit. Pericl. § 2.

417. See the statue of the fisherman, British Museum, Gallery of Antiquities, Room vi. No. 45, and an account of their operation in Pollux. i. 96, sqq. Lucian, with a few strokes, paints the misery of this wretched tribe casting their nets, toiling vigorously and then bringing up a large stone or an earthen pot full of sand, like the poor fisherman in the Arabian Nights. Hermot. § 65. The same author speaks of an old half-blind beggar of ninety, who partly earned his livelihood by the rod and line. Dial. Mort. xxvii. § 9. Persons of this caste were sometimes by poverty reduced to commit sacrilege. Jup. Trag. § 25.

418. Eidyll. xxi. 6, sqq.

419. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 313, conf. ad 361. 862. The transporting of persons to and from Salamis afforded employment to a hardy and skilful race of ferrymen whose operations were judged of sufficient importance to be the subject of a Solonian law: Εάν τὶς τῶν πορθμέων τῶν εἰς Σαλαμῖνα πορθμευόντων ἄκων ἐν τῳ πόρῳ πλοῖον ἀνατρέψῃ, τούτῳ μὴ ἐξείναι πάλιν πορθμεῖ γενέσθαι. Petit, Leg. Att. v. 6. p. 427. Æschin. cont. Ctesiph. § 49. Montaigne speaking of the contradictory customs of different nations, observes àpropos of fares: “Les Romains payoient ce qui estoit deu aux bateliers, pour leur naulage (passage money) dès l’entrée du bateau, ce que nous faisons après estre rendu à port:

Dum æs exigitur, dum mula ligatur,
Tota abit hora.”

(Horat. I. 5. 13, seq.) Essais. t. iii. p. 173. On this passage Coste has the following note: “En Hollande on paye dans le bateau, environ à mi-chemin du lieu où l’on va.” This last regulation, as most persons know, has been adopted by our coast steamers.

420. Athen. i. 49, seq.

421. Cf. Plat. De Rep. t. vi. p. 79. The president Goguet commiserates the ancients on their extreme ignorance of the useful arts. Orig. des Lois, t. v. p. 174.

422. Goguet, Orig. des Lois, i. 208, seq. 221. iii. 380. Beckman, History of Inventions, i. 227, seq. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 580. Equit. 803.

423. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 924.

424. There were those among the ancients who attributed the invention of mills to the Pelasgian Myles, son of Lelex, probably that they might have a hero from whose name they could conveniently derive the word μυλῶν.—Ἀπ’ αὐτου (τοῦ ἱερου Ποσειδῶνος) προελθόντι ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ Ταΰγετον ὀνομάζουσιν Ἀλεσίας χωρίον, Μύλητα τὸν Λέλεγος πρῶτον ἀνθρώπων μύλην τε εὑρεῖν λέγοντες καὶ ἐν ταῖς Ἀλεσίαις ταύταις ἀλέσαι. Paus. iii. 20. 2. According to Hesychius, (v. Μυλὰς) this hero Myles or Mylas was one of the Telchines: Μυλὰς, εἷς τῶν Τελχίνων, ὃς τὰ ἐν Καμείρῳ ἱερα Μυλαντείων ἱδρύσατο. The tradition attributing to this personage the invention of mills is thus related by Stephanus: Μυλαντία, ἄκρα ἐν Καμίρῳ τῆς Ῥόδου. Μυλάντιοι, θεοί ἐπιμύλιοι. ἀπὸ Μύλαντος ἀμφότερα, τοῦ καὶ πρώτου εὑρόντος ἐν τῷ βίῳ τὴν τοῦ μύλου χρῆσιν. De Urb. et Popul. p. 570, seq. where we see the able and learned notes of Berkelius.

425. Who very commonly sang at their employment. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 1339. Plut. Conviv. Sept. Sap. § 45.

426. Poll. i. 80, informs us, that σιτοποιϊκὸς οἶκος was used by a kind of euphemism for μυλῶν.

427. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 253. Watermills were known in antiquity. Vitruv. x. 10. Dempster on Rosin. i. 14. p. 87. Pignor. de Serv. 248. These mills were, doubtless, called into requisition in time of war, when the soldiers took along with them large quantities of cheese and meal. Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 304. The ancients appear to have been partial to small bread, since we find that four or even eight loaves were sometimes made from a chœnix of flour. Schol. Vesp. 440.

428. Cleanthes, the disciple of Zeno, earned his subsistence by drawing water during the night. Suidas, in v. t. i. p. 1467. b.

429. Athen. iv. 65.

430. Lucian. Luc. siv. Asin. § 41. Tim. § 23.

431. Cf. Dioscorid. ii. 107. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 952; and Athen. iii. 83.

432. Plin. xviii. 28. Goguet, i. 211. Sch. Aristoph. Vesp. 164.

433. Τὸ ἐργαλεῖον ἐν ᾧ τὰ ἄλευρα διεσήθετο, τὸ μὲν ἐκ σχοίνων πλέγμα, κόσκινον· εἰ δὲ τῷ κοσκίνου κύκλῳ ἀντὶ τοῦ σχοίνου λινοῦν τι σινδόνιον εἴη ἐξηρτημένον, ὡς ἀκριβέστερον τὸ ἄλευρον καθαίροιτο, ἀλευρότησις ἐκαλεῖτο· ἡ δὲ ἐξ ἐρίου, κρησέρα. Poll. Onomast. vi. 74.

434. Suid. v. Νοστος. t. i. p. 241. Athen. xiv. 10. Hesych. v. Εὔνοστος. Eustath. ad Il. β. 162. 21. Ad Odys. γ. 754. 50. Etym. Mag. 394. 3. Poll. vii. 180.

435. A fine light bread was made of the three months summer wheat. Dioscor. ii. 107. Others speak of this wheat as requiring four months to come to maturity: Οἱ σιτάνιοι ἄρτοι, ἐκ τῶν σιτανίων πυρῶν, οἵ εἰσιν οἱ τετράμηνοι Poll. vi. 73.

436. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 816.

437. Dioscorid. ii. 119, seq. 113, sqq. Poll. i. 248. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 1057. Herod. ii. 36.

438. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 88.

439. Ἀσοὁδέλος. Id. Hist. Plant. vii. 13. 3. Cf. Hesiod. Opp. et Dies, 41. Plin. xxi. 68. In certain countries of the Levant, even dates were converted into a kind of bread. Theoph. Hist. Plant. i. 6. 10.

440. Φάσγανον. Theoph. Hist. Plant. vii. 12. 3. In their fondness for roots the modern Greeks appear to equal their ancestors: “Ce qui a donné lieu au proverbe, qui dit que les Grecs s’engraissent où les ânes meurent de faim: cela est vrai à la lettre, les ânes ne mangent que les feuilles des plantes, et les Grecs emportent jusques à la racine.” Tournefort, t. i. p. 106.

441. Ὀρνιθόγαλον. Dioscor. ii. 174.

442. Μελανθίον. Id. iii. 93.

443. Τριβόλος. Id. iv. 15.

444. Mathée, Notes sur Dioscoride, p. 348.

445. Δρακόντιον. Dioscorid. ii. 196.

446. Id. iv. 65.

447. Athen. iii. 83.

448. Lucian. Demon. §§ 23. 63.

449. Athen. iii. 77. At present Greek bakers are in most request throughout the Levant. Wolf, Mission. Research. p. 12. Antiphanes, too, in his Omphalè celebrates the Athenian bakers. Athen. iii. 78. And Plato in the Gorgias, t. iii. p. 154, commemorates Thearion, who excelled in this art. On ancient bread-bags, Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. 297.

450. Athen. iii. 77.

451. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 660, 666.

452. Cakes of leavened bread were called ζυμίται, those of unleavened bread ἄζυμοι. Poll. vi. 32.

453. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 86.

454. Poll. vi. 75. Tzetz. Chiliad. vii. 770.

455. Athen. iii. 76. Some of these were reckoned so delicate as to create appetite, and to have the power of removing drunkenness, 74. At Athens one of the most thriving departments of the baker’s business must have been supplying the fleets and merchantmen with biscuits, ἄρτοι ναυτικοὶ ξηροὶ, a sample of which we find a sailor presenting to his mistress. Luc. Dial. Meret. xiv. § 2. Cf. Poll. vii. 23. Athen. iii. 74.

456. Athen. iii. 74.

457. Poll. vi. 75. Tzetz. Chiliad. vii. 770.

458. Poll. iii. 41.

459. Athen. xiv. 51, sqq.

460. Athen. xiv. 55.

461. Id. xiv. 57.

462. Ἀμπελίδες ἅς νῦν ἀμπελιῶνας καλοῦσιν. Poll. vi. 52.

463. Συκαλίδες. Aristot. Hist. Anim. viii. 3. ix. 49.

464. Poll. vi. 77.

465. Athen. xiv. 55.

466. Athen. xiv. 56.

467. Poll. vi. 76.

468. Athen. xiv. 56.

469. Κρεωπώλης. Butchers were also called μαγείροι κρεωδαίτας and κρεουργοὶ. Poll. vii. 25.

470. Athen. xiii. 43.

471. Jason of Pheræ once excited among the Thessalian cities a contention as to which of them should supply the finest ox: Ἐκήρυξε δὲ καὶ νικητήριον χρυσοῦν στέφανον ἔσεσθαι, εἴ τις τῶν πόλεων βοῦν ἡγεμόνα κάλλιστον τῷ θεῷ θρέψειε. Xenoph. Hellen. vi. 4. 29.

472. Poll. ix. 48.

473. Athen. xiii. 23. Plut. Dem. § 12 Id. Dion. § 1.

474. Poll. vii. 25. Suid. v. κρεάγρα, t. i. p. 1521, seq.

475. Among the Romans in the good old days of the republic, gentlemen killed their own meat. “Suis enim fundum colit nostrum, quin sues habeat, et qui non audieret patres nostros dicere, ignavum, et sumptuosum esse, qui succidiam in carnario suspenderit potius ab laniario, quam ex domestico fundo?” Varro, De Re Rust. ii. 4. From the same author, (ii. 9,) we learn that ancient, like modern butchers, were fond of being attended by large fierce dogs, which he advises shepherds when in search of a co-guardian for their flocks most especially to eschew.

476. Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 359.

477. At the doors of these establishments then were probably, as at Pompeii, holes bored through the stones of the foot pavement, raised considerably above the road, to receive the halters of horses or mules. Hamilton, Discov. at Pomp. p. 12.

478. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. p. 244, seq. Athen. x. 38.

479. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Thesm. 744.

480. Others defrauded their customers by mixing mutton with kid. Schol. Arist. Eq. 1396.

481. Athen. xiii. 43.

482. Athen. iii. 97. Prodic. ap. Xen. Mem. ii. 1. 30.

483. Athen. iii. 97.

484. Σῆμος δὲ ὁ Δήλιος ἐν δευτέρῳ Νησιάδος, ἐν Κιμώλω τῇ νήσω φησὶ ψυχεῖα κατεσκευάσθαι θέρους ὀρυκτὰ, ἔνθα χλιεροῦ ὕδατος πλήρη κεράμια καταθέντες, ὕστερον κομίζονται χιόνος οὐδὲν διάφορα. Athen. iii. 96. These coolers are rendered necessary by the entire lack of springs in the island, whose inhabitants wholly depend for water on what they can preserve in pits and cisterns. Tournefort, t. i. p. 170.

485. But see Beckmann, iii. 327.

486. Aristoph. Av. 799. These flasks were in later times called φλασκία, whence the modern name. Suid. v. πυτίνη, t. ii. p. 672. d. These we find were frequently, as well as baskets, the work of prisoners, who probably thus earned a livelihood. Hesych. v. πυτίνη πλεκτή. Cf. Suid. v. Διΐτρεφης, i. 729. In the cellars of Pompeii, the wine-jars were found ranged along the walls without stoppers, instead of which a little oil was probably poured on the top of the wine, as at present in Italy. Hamilton, Discov. at Pomp. p. 15.

487. Eisenschmid. de Pond. et Mens. Vet. p. 166.

488. Cf. Bœckh. Pub. Econ. i. p. 133.

489. Vid. Athen. iii. 86.

490. Athen. xi. 47. Cf. iii. 86.

491. Athen. x. 25. Poll. vi. 21.

492. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 1005. 878.

493. Conf. Beckmann, Hist. Invent. i. 402. sqq. Dioscor. v. 125.


A. Ἐν τοῖς συμποσίοισιν οὐ πίνετ᾽
Ἄκρατον. S. Οὐ γὰρ ῥᾴδιον· πωλοῦσι γὰρ
Ἐν ταῖς ἁμάξαις εὐθέως κεκραμένων·
Οὐχ ἵνα τι κερδαίνωσι, τῶν δ᾽ ὠνουμένων
Προνοούμενοι τοῦ τὰς κεφαλὰς ὑγιεῖς ἔχειν
Ἐκ κραιπάλης.
Alex. ap. Athen. x. 38.

495. The Greeks gave fanciful names to their wines and their cups; but the English have been still more fanciful in the names of their ales. See Bent. Dissert. on Phalaris, i. pref. xxi.

496. Xen. Hellen. vi. 6. 6. Athen. i. 24.

497. Athen. vii. 9. i. 55. Plut. Alcib. § 12.

498. Athen. i. 55.

499. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 107. Etym. Mag. 683. 30, seq.

500. Il. η. 467, sqq.

501. Poll. vi. 15. x. 72.

502. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 151; and Thurian. Nub. 331.

503. Suid. v. Καπν. t. i. p. 1370.

504. Dioscor. v. 10.

505. “The district of Cydonia must have been celebrated for its wine in ancient times, for we find on many of its coins a bunch of grapes, or the head of Dionysos. Some of them also exhibit a female head adorned with a chaplet of vine-leaves. I found a beautiful silver coin of Cydonia in the possession of the interpreter of the French Consulate, and the female head seen on its obverse was thus ornamented.” Pashley, Travels in Crete, vol. i. p. 23.

506. Athen. i. 95, seq.

507. Id. viii. 67.

508. Id. i. 25.

509. Aristoph. Lysist. 196. Athen. x. 37. i. 24. Poll. vi. 15.

510. Dioscor. v. 43.

511. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 189. 643.

512. Dioscor. v. 48.

513. Id. v. 10. 27. Athen. i. 24.

514. Aristot. De Mirab. Auscult. t. xvi. p. 185. Tauchnitz.—Max. Tyr. Dissert. xi. p. 138. The making of this delicious beverage is the simplest process imaginable. Speaking of the Ingushians,—“The excellent honey which they produce,” observes Pallas, “is partly converted into mead, having been previously diluted with boiling water; partly used with a fermented liquor made of millet, and called Busa, and partly eaten at the dessert.” Travels in Southern Russia, ii. 204.

515. Plin. xiv. 20. Beckmann, Hist. of Invent. iii. 373.

516. Dioscor. v. 31. The physician observes of this beverage:—ἡ χρῆσις δ᾽ αὐτοῦ μετ᾽ ἐνιαυτόν.

517. Pallad. iii. 25. Colum. xii. 45. Dioscor. v. 32.

518. The palm-wine of Æthiopia would appear to have been celebrated in antiquity, since a small cask of it was thought a fit present for a Persian king. Herod. iii. 20. Plin. xiii. 4. Diod. Sicul. ii. 136.

519. Damm. Lexic. 2224. Cf. Eustath. ad Odyss. ω. t. iii. p. 839. 8, seq. Dioscor. v. 41.

520. Dioscor. v. 28.

521. Herod. iv. 177. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 3. 2. Wines were sometimes flavoured by an infusion of wild carrot-root (δαῦκος). Dioscor. v. 70. There was a drink called βρύτον, with roots, which sometimes supplied the place of wine. Athen. x. 67.

522. Dioscor. v. 34.

523. Id. v. 35.

524. Id. v. 59.

525. Χαμαίδρυς. Id. v. 51.

526. Dioscor. v. 75.

527. Id. v. 33.

528. Id. v. 49.

529. Id. v. 54.

530. Id. v. 62.

531. Id. v. 26.

532. Id. v. 37.

533. Id. v. 38.

534. Id. v. 39.

535. Id. v. 42.

536. Id. v. 44.

537. Id. v. 47.

538. Id. v. 45.

539. Id. v. 46.

540. Id. v. 45.

541. Dioscor. v. 50.

542. Id. v. 35.

543. Id. iii. 27.

544. Id. v. 7.

545. Athen. i. 47.

546. This achievement the Teian celebrates in one of his own odes, a fragment of which has been preserved by Athenæus, xi. 45.

Ἠρίστησα μὲν ἰτρίου λέπτον ἀποκλὰς,
Οἴνου δ᾽ ἐξέπιον κάδον.

547. Athen. x. 12. i. 61. Dioscor. ii. 110. Goguet. i. 231.

548. Voyages de la Comp. des Indes, i. 62.

549. Xenoph. Anab. iv. 5.

550. Cf. Plat. de Leg. t. viii. p. 114, seq. De Rep. t. vi. p. 176. Muret. ad Arist. Ethic. p. 415.

551. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 137. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. p. 125.

552. Cf. Demosth. cont. Con. § 3.

553. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 295. Xenoph. de Off. Mag. Eq. iii. 2, with the note of Schneider.—Throughout Greece, persons to whom especial honour was designed had their statues erected in the agora, as Theodectes at Phaselis. Plut. Alexand. § 17. The statue of the market Hermes stood near the Stoa Pœcile, and was usually smeared with pitch, from the practice of sculptors who came constantly to take casts from it with a preparation of that substance. Lucian. Jup. Trag. § 33.

554. Aristoph. Lysist. 678.

555. Casaub. ad. Theoph. Char. p. 349.

556. Poll. vii. 125. On the terms connected with settling and buying, &c. iii. 124, sqq.

557. Ἱματιόπωλις ἀγορά or σπειρόπωλις Poll. vii. 78. Cf. Xenoph. de Vectigal, iv. 8.

558. See Book v. chapter ii.

559. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 680. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 420. Acharn. 166. Eq. 493. Athen. xiii. 22.

560. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 189. 191. Dioscor. ii. 200.

561. Theoph. Hist. Plant. vi. 4. 8. Dioscor. iii. 76.

562. Dioscor. i. 115.

563. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 1. 4.

564. Theoph. Hist. Plant. vii. 1. 2.

565. Antich. di Ercol. t. ii. p. 52.

566. “The ancients were acquainted with curled cabbage and even some of those kinds which we call broccoli. Under this term is understood all those species, the numerous young flowery heads of which, particularly in spring and autumn, can be used like cauliflowers. Such young shoots are called cymæ, but not turiones; for the latter term denotes the first shoots that arise, like those of hops, asparagus, and other esculent plants. The broccoli used at present was, however, first brought from Italy to France, together with the name, about the end of the sixteenth century.” Beckmann, iv. 266.

567. Καλοῦσι δὲ αὐτοὶ ἱεραν βοτάνην διὰ τὸ εὔχρηστον ἐν τοῖς καθαρμεῖς εἶναι εἰς περιάμματα. Dioscor. iv. 71.

568. Ἀντὶ ἀσπαράγου δε οἱ καυλοὶ νεοθαλεῖς λαχανευόμενοι ἐσθίονται. Dioscor. iv. 146.

569. Id. iv. 185.

570. Αἱ δὲ κράδαι βοείοις κρέασι καθεψόμεναι, εὐέψητα ταῦτα ποιοῦσι. Dioscor. i. 184. At Carthagena, the same effect is produced by lemon-juice. “Une chose particulière qu’on remarque en cette ville à l’égard des limons, c’est que les habitans ayent cette idée, qu’il ne faut mettre la viande près du feu que trois quarts d’heure, ou une heure avant le repas. Suivant cette opinion ils ne mettent jamais de l’eau au pot avec la viande sans y exprimer en même tems le jus de trois ou quatre de ces limons plus ou moins, selon la quantité de viande; par ce moyen la viande s’amollit et se cuit si bien, qu’elle est en état d’être servie au bout de ce court espace. Ces gens là sont si accoutumés à cette facilité d’apprêter leurs viandes, qu’ils se moquent des Européens, qui employent toute une matinée pour faire une chose qui leur coute si peu de tems.” Ulloa, Voyage au Pérou. t. i. p. 68.

571. Dioscor. iv. 182.

572. Id. i. 111.

573. Cf. Plut. Arat. § 6. De Pauw, Rech. Phil. sur les Grecs, i. 3. p. 20. Flowers seem to have been brought to market in corbels on asses. Buonaroti, Oss. Istor. sop. alc. Medagl. Antich. p. 385.

574. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 1320.

575. Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 528.

576. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. p. 348. In wealthy states, says Xenophon, men applied their riches to the purchase of costly arms, fine horses, and magnificent houses and furniture; and the women to that of splendid dresses and ornaments of gold. De Vectigal. iv. 8.

577. Lucian, Luc. siv. Asin. § 35.

578. Cf. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. p. 257, seq.

579. Schol. Aristot. Eq. 103. Andocid. De Myrt. § 22.

580. Lucian. adv. Indoct. § 20.

581. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 364. Athen. xiv. 75. See a pork-butcher’s shop in Zoëga, Bassi Rilievi, tav. 28.

582. Herod. iv. 53. ii. 15. 113.

583. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. p. 153. Dion Chrysost. i. 236. Cf. Leake, Topog. of Athen. p. 64.

584. Eurip. ap. Poll. x. 112. Cf. Demosth. adv. Phœnip. § 3. Lucian, Luc. siv. Asin. § 43.

585. Or perhaps water-carriers, this class of men having been numerous in ancient cities, and remarkable for their insolence. Ælian. Var. Hist. ix. 17. Even the camels employed in water-carrying are more vicious than any other.

586. Aristoph. Acharn. 532, sqq.

587. Sch. Aristoph. Acharn. 494, 500.

588. Aristoph. Acharn. 860, sqq.

589. See in Zoëga, Bassi Rilievi, tav. 27, the representation of a poulterer’s shop.

590. Sch. Aristoph. Ran. 257.

591. Id. Acharn. 314.

592. Plat. De Rep. t. vi. p. 83.

593. On the number of the corresponding class in London I possess no exact information; but a modern writer who has displayed much curious industry in describing the mechanism of the lower stages of society in France gives the following estimate of chiffonniers of Paris:—“En exposant quels sont les principaux élémens de la classe pauvre mais laborieuse, je ne dois pas omettre de faire connaître le nombre des chiffonniers, espèce de manouvriers qui se rattachent aux manufactures par la nature même des objets sur lesquels s’exerce leur industrie. Ce métier, qui est un des moins honorés, a, malgré le dégoût qu’il inspire généralement, un attrait particulier pour certaines gens et surtout pour les enfans, parce qu’il n’assujettit à aucun apprentissage, et qu’en outre, il permet à celui qui l’exerce, de vaguer constamment sur la voie publique et de gagner aisément un salaire raisonnable. On compte 2000 chiffonniers, et à-peu-près un pareil nombre de femmes et d’enfans exerçant la même profession, en tout 4000.” Frégier, Des Classes Dangereuses de la Population dans les Grandes Villes, t. i. p. 27.

594. Τηλία. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 147.

595. Athen. vi. 5.

596. Plut. Arat. § 6.

597. Sch. Aristoph. Nub. 318.

598. Cf. Poll. i. 51.

599. Athen. ii. 45. The travelling fishmongers even frequented the country-houses and villages, viii. 57. Schol. Aristoph. Av. 13, seq. Eq. 1241, sqq. It was probably persons of this class that most commonly used their mouths as a purse, as the Siamese do their ears. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. p. 194. Aristoph. Vesp. 791. Their baskets were commonly of rushes. Athen. vii. 72. See a representation of them, Antich. di Ercol. t. i. tav. 21. p. 111.

600. Lucian, Amor. § 10. Plut. Arat. § 6.

601. Poll. ix. 48. Athen. ix. 22.

602. Chandler, ii. 104.

603. Athen. iv. 58.

604. Lucian. Bis Accus. § 16. Sch. Arist. Nub. 978.

605. Lucian. Demon. § 17.

606. Poll. iii. 124.

607. Andocid. De Myst. § 9, with the note of Reiske. Plut. Timol. § 14.

608. Athen. xiii. 94.

609. Xenoph. de Off. Mag. Eq. iii. 2.

610. Dem. de Fals. Leg. § 72. Cf. Athen. xi. 109. Winkel. Hist. de l’Art. iii. 340.

611. Aristoph. Acharn. 723. Schol. 689. Bekk. Plaut. Captiv. iv. 2. 43. These magistrates were afterwards called Logistæ. Schol. Acharn. 685. Bekk. Cf. Poll. ii. 119. viii. 45. 99. x. 44. There was in use among the ancients a horrid kind of whip in which small bones were intertwisted with the thongs to render the strokes more painful. Lucian, Luc. siv. Asin. § 38. Poll. x. 54.

612. Aristoph. Eq. 1005.

613. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 54.

614. Id. 861.

615. Harpocrat. v. σιτοφύλακες p. 162. Dem. adv. Lept. § 8. Lys. cont. Dardan. § 6.

616. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 522.

617. Cf. Bœckh. Pub. Econ. i. 101, sqq. Diog. Laert. vi. 35. Dem. adv. Call. §§ 7. 9. Dionys. Halicarn. i. 100.

618. Plut. Poplic. § 11. Sol. § 23. On the low prices of provisions in Lusitania in the time of Polybius. Athen. viii. 1.

619. Aristoph. Nub. 20. 1226. Lys. adv. Fam. Obtrect. § 4. Some men brought themselves to ruin by their fondness for magnificent horses. Xenoph. Œcon. iii. 8.

620. Lucian. Luc. siv. Asin. § 35.

621. The same price was sometimes given for a Copaïc eel. Aristoph. Ach. 960, seq. Athen. xiv. 69.

622. Goguet. ii. 196. Herod. i. 192. Poll. iv. 171. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 450. Acharn. 108. See an exact representation of an ancient pair of scales suspended from a bird’s bill in Mus. Cortonens. tab. 27.

623. Eisenschmid. De Pond. et Mens. Vet. p. 156.

624. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 633. Eq. 95.

625. Eisenschmid. p. 168.

626. Athen. xii. 73.

627. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 108.

628. Etym. Mag. 16. 53.-17. 45.

629. Poll. iv. 168.

630. Id. x. 184.

631. Id. iv. 168.



It has been already observed that the shops of the perfumers[632] were, for the most part, situated in the Agora or its neighbourhood, and much frequented by newsmongers and young men of distinction. From this it follows, that they must have been of spacious dimensions; and it is extremely probable that they were fitted up with every attention to show and elegance. They necessarily contained a number of seats and chairs for the accommodation of customers, and there can scarcely be a doubt, that the various unguents, perfumes, oils, and essences, were ranged on shelves, along the walls, in fine jars, vases of Cyprian marble, and boxes of alabaster,[633] sometimes of one piece, with vessels of glass and silver,[634] or fine earthenware, or porcelain, or beautiful sea-shells.[635] The counters were probably of marble or polished stone, as at Pompeii; and the shopman was supplied with the usual paraphernalia of scales and weights,[636] and measures, and ladles, and spoons, and spatulæ, as in modern times. Peron, an Egyptian, the owner of one of these shops, has been 132thought of sufficient consequence to have his name transmitted to posterity.[637]

From the richness and variety of odours made use of by the ancients we may infer, that the fragrance of such an establishment at Athens, exceeded that of Araby the Blest. For every land and every sweet flower that grew supplied some ingredient to the endless stock of the perfumer.[638] There was incense, and frankincense, and spikenard,[639] and myrrh, and oils of saffron and cinnamon,[640] and sweet marjoram,[641] and fenugreek,[642] and roses,[643] and hyoscyamos,[644] and maiden’s hair,[645] and iris,[646] and lilies,[647] and watermint, and rosemary, and eastern privet,[648] and baccharis,[649] and thyme. In truth the Athenians, who were esteemed the inventors of all good and useful things,[650] delighted exceedingly in the luxury of sweet smells, and therefore culled from Sicily, and Egypt, and Phœnicia, and Lydia, and Babylonia, and India, and Arabia, whatever could communicate a pleasing scent to their garments,[651] their apartments, 133or their beards. Even the doves and swallows that flew tame about the house had their feathers drenched with odoriferous essences, which they scattered with their waving wings through the air.[652] This excessive passion for perfumes rendered the favourite articles of it dear, so that of some kinds a cotyla sold for two or five minæ;[653] of others, for ten; while the balm of Gilead, even in the country where it was collected, was valued at double its weight in silver.[654] There were, however, inferior kinds of perfume, some of which were cheap enough, since we find that an alabaster boxful, brought from the East, sometimes sold for two drachmas.[655]

Great use was made of saffron as a perfume.[656] Halls, courts, and theatres were saturated with its odour,[657] and statues[658] were made to flow, like common fountains, with saffron-water. From a great number of other flowers, essences and unguents were likewise prepared; such as our lady’s rose, southernwood,[659] vine-flowers,[660] the narcissus,[661] anis-flower,[662] high taper, betel-leaf, and the jasmine, which, in Persia, was used at banquets and in the baths.[663]

In the preparation of unguents, numerous articles were made use of, either to give them consistency or to modify the scent: among these were the root of the anchusa,[664] palm spatha,[665] butter,[666] sweet-scented moss,[667] and the odoriferous reed.[668]

134Several unguents received their names from the persons who invented them, or from the places whence they were imported, though others were distinguished by appellations which are no longer intelligible: thus, the Megalion or Megalesian derived its name from Megallos, a Sicilian perfumer;[669] the Plangonian from Plango, a female perfumer of Elis.[670] The black ointment, doubtless, received its name from its colour; but wherefore the Sagdas is so called is not known:[671] both these were of Egyptian manufacture. From Lydia was imported the Brenthion,[672] and from Babylonia the Nardon, which disputed the prize with the royal unguent. There was among the Egyptians a perfume called Cyphi,[673] entirely appropriated to the use of the gods, into the composition of which entered the following ingredients; the cyperus, a quantity of juniper-berries, raisins, odoriferous reeds and rushes, the aspalathos, myrrh, wine, resin, and honey, mixed in certain proportions, and reduced to a fine paste. Unguent of roses was preserved by an admixture of salt.[674]

But the perfumers dealt not in odours and essences only, their stock containing every variety of cosmetic for the use of the ladies, who made a complete business of beautifying their faces,[675] which at 135length became wholly artificial, rather a mask than a countenance.[676] They whitened their foreheads, dyed their eyebrows, and fashioned them like arches, painted black the edges of their eyelids,[677] rendered their eyes humid and bright by powder-of-lead ore, spread over their faces the hues of the lily intermingled with the bloom of the rose, adorned themselves with false ringlets, changed the yellow into black, the black into auburn,[678] gave a ruby tinge to their lips, and blanched their teeth into ivory. But the psimmythion,[679] (ceruse or white lead,) which rendered them fair, undermined their constitution, and poisoned their breath. On the subject of rouge, the Greeks had a very poetical and beautiful saying:—“She plants roses in her cheeks,” said they, “which, like those of Locris, will bloom in an hour and fade in less.”[680]

One sort of rouge[681] appears to have been obtained 136from a species of sea-moss or wrake,[682] which some have confounded with the anchusa,[683] though the grammarians enumerate them as things entirely different. One of the commentators supposes the purpurissa to be meant, by which the Romans understood a sort of cheek-varnish, vermilion, or Spanish paint. There was in use a pigment for the eyebrows, called Hypogramma,[684] and the edges of the eyelids were tinged black with Stimmis,[685] an oxyde of antimony, which still constitutes one of the articles of the female toilette in the East. Sometimes the eyebrows were blackened with resin soot,[686] and the eyelashes caused to lie regularly by naphtha,[687] and a sort of paste composed of glue and pounded marble.[688] Another curious cosmetic was, the Adarces,[689] a substance resembling congealed froth, found on reeds and the dry stalks of plants about the ponds and marshes of Cappadocia. It was said to remove freckles, and enjoyed, likewise, great credit in medicine. A preparation composed of the flour of turnip-seed, lupines, wheat, darnel, and chick-peas, was used for clearing the skin; so, likewise, were the Chian and Selinusian earths,[690] which removed wrinkles, and rendered the skin smooth and shining. They were in constant use in the baths. Cassia,[691] honey,[692] pepper,[693] and myrrh,[694] cured pimples and effaced spots; fenugreek[695] whitened the hands and removed sunburns; briony,[696] isinglass,[697] costos,[698] galbanum,[699] lupines, rainwater,[700] 137radishes,[701] and hare’s blood,[702] the biscutella didyma,[703] truffles,[704] cinnamon,[705] linseed,[706] ladanum,[707] iris-roots,[708] white hellebore,[709] Sardinian honey,[710] onion-juice,[711] and spring-wheat, moistened with oxymel,[712] were among the principal preparations for removing moles and freckles, and beautifying the skin. In some parts of Greece elm-juice,[713] expressed at the first putting forth of the leaves in spring, was employed to give clearness and resplendency to the complexion. Almond-paste,[714] also, with the roots of the bitter almond-tree, effaced spots from the skin. Others, for the same purpose, made use of the berries of the wild-vine,[715] and a paste was prepared from lilies which induced fairness, and rendered the face smooth and shining.[716] To protect the complexion from the sun, the whole countenance was varnished, as it were, with white of egg;[717] and some women, possibly rustics, used goose and hen’s grease as a cosmetic.[718] The roots of the spikenard, when imported from the East, usually retained about them a little of the soil in which the plant had grown:[719] this was carefully rubbed off, and having been passed through a fine sieve, was used for washing the hands, as it probably retained something of the fragrance of the plant. Rose leaves, reduced to powder, were sprinkled over persons as they issued from the bath, particularly about the eyes, to heighten the freshness of the face.[720] To communicate additional sweetness to their persons, Greek ladies sometimes wore about their necks carcanets of rose pastilles[721] instead of jewelled necklaces, into the composition 138of which, however, several other ingredients entered, as nard, myrrh, costos, Illyrian iris, honey, and Chian wine.

The dentifrices[722] of the Greeks consisted chiefly of the purple fish, burnt with salt, and reduced to powder;[723] the Arabic stone,[724] calcined in like manner; and pumice-stone.[725] Asses’ milk was used as a gargle to preserve the teeth.[726] The toothpicks[727] most commonly used were small slips of cane, or green branches of the lentiscus,[728] the ashes of which were likewise mingled with all kinds of tooth-powder. The citron,[729] eaten as a remedy for longing, was thought to render the breath sweet. There was a kind of ointment prepared of saffron, which, mingled with water, they employed to restore brilliance to eyes which had lost their colour.[730] A pomatum, composed of oil and the husks of filbert-nuts burnt and reduced to powder, was used in infancy to change blue eyes into black.[731]

The barbers, who, both in locality and repute, were next-door neighbours to the perfumers, enjoyed much the same sort of reputation as they do in modern times. In their shops scandal was fabricated, and news, good and bad, put into circulation. It was at a barber’s in the Peiræeus that some stranger first disclosed the intelligence of the defeat in Sicily, thereby bringing the longue-tongued shaver into the greatest trouble; for as he straightway ran up to the 139city and gave vent to the evil tidings, he was apprehended and put to the torture, in order to discover the real author of what was supposed to be an atrocious fabrication.[732] But that which sometimes thus brought them into straits, proved most commonly a source of profit, since to hear their laughable stories and anecdotes many more persons congregated under their roofs than stood in need of new wigs or curling-irons,[733] and probably got shaved by way of compliment to the master of the house. Such of them as were remarkably unskilful sought to make up for their awkwardness[734] by the number and elegance of their razors, and the large size of their mirrors.[735] But it was not, we are told, unfrequent for men to get shaved by some humble practitioner,[736] with one razor and a cunning hand, and afterwards to lounge into the more dashing shops, to put their curls in order before the large mirrors which adorned the walls.[737]

If we may judge by the works of art that have come down to us, however, the barbers of Hellas generally understood their business in great perfection, since nowhere do we find more shapely heads or finer curls than on the statues of antiquity.[738] Even here, however, we discover few traces of that 140variety in the manner of cutting and dressing the hair,[739] for which they were chiefly distinguished. While the beard[740] was worn, their principal occupation must have been the clipping, curling, and perfuming of it; but afterwards when persons shaved in order to appear young,[741] and had learned to cover their bald pates with wigs,[742] their business grew to be much the same as it is at present. Their arts were necessarily in great request among the ladies, for whom they contrived false eyebrows,[743] and innumerable dyes for giving whatever colour they desired to the hair, rendering it luxuriant and preventing it from turning grey. Hog’s lard and even bear’s grease mixed with powder of burnt filberts[744] were then in great request for strengthening and restoring the hair, together with onion-juice,[745] olives steeped in wine,[746] myrrh,[747] wild-olive oil[748] mingled with water, according to Aristotle,[749] the glutinous humour of snails obtained by passing a needle through them, and immediately 141applied to the roots of the hair,[750] a bruized cabbage-leaf,[751] a hare’s head reduced to ashes,[752] the ashes of the asphodel-root,[753] burnt frogs,[754] and goat’s hoof,[755] Naxian stone,[756] halcyonion,[757] burnt walnuts,[758] and oil of pitch.[759] The soot of pitch restored fallen eyelashes.[760] Among the depilatory preparations[761] used by ancient barbers may be enumerated the fumitory,[762] the scolopendra thalassia,[763] oak-fern,[764] juice of vine-leaves,[765] orpiment,[766] flour of salt,[767] sea-froth,[768] and the blood of the chamelion.[769]

To dye tresses auburn,[770] a colour much admired by the Greeks, they pounded a quantity of the leaves of eastern privet[771] in a mortar, and then steeping it in the juice of fuller’s-herb, applied the preparation to the hair. The same effect was produced by a decoction of lotus stems,[772] or of the herb lycion.[773] As black hair, however, obtained the preference of the majority, partly[774] perhaps because it better suited their complexions, the number of recipes for giving it that hue is very great. Among the most remarkable substances employed for this purpose we may mention the ampelitis,[775] a black earth imported from Seleucia, in Syria, and the sory,[776] a mineral found chiefly in Egypt. To these may be added decoctions of wood-blade,[777] myrtle, and myrtle-berries,[778] ivy,[779] and dwarf-elder berries,[780] sage,[781] mulberries,[782] and palm-spathæ,[783] as also cypress cones, boiled in 142vinegar.[784] There prevailed an opinion in Italy[785] that the birds which fed on the berries of the smilax or yew-tree became black, though we do not find, that the barbers had thought of introducing them among the hair dyes.

Another class of tradesmen who selected the Agora[786] or its neighbourhood, for their residence, was the goldsmiths, silversmiths, jewellers, and lapidaries, who were possibly of more importance in the ancient than the modern world,[787] since a much greater quantity of the precious metals was then wrought up into plate, whether for the temples, chapels and sanctuaries of the gods,[788] or for private individuals.[789] How much or how little of the articles they produced could be seen at one time in their shops, it is now impossible to determine; but if their practice resembled that of the moderns, it would be difficult to imagine a greater blaze of magnificence[790] than must have met the eye upon entering their establishments,—where piles of gold and silver vessels[791] of all forms and dimensions, some burnished[792] and plain, others embossed 143with every variety of figure in high or low relief, others crusted with seed pearls,[793] or brilliants, or set with gems[794] of every shade and hue, from the ruby, the emerald, and the hyacinth, to the turquoise, the chrysoprase, the amethyst, the beryl, and the jasper, might be beheld rising to the ceiling.

Occasionally articles of plate of enormous size were manufactured,[795] such as cisterns,[796] or vases, or tripods, or salvers, or goblets of gold or silver, presented as offerings by whole cities or communities to some divinity. In these cases the workmanship was very frequently so elaborate and exquisite as to be still more costly than the materials. Entire landscapes, including innumerable figures and objects were sometimes represented on the swell of a vase or goblet: Bacchanalian processions, for example, with whole troops of satyrs and mænades moving along some wooded valley, or desert mountain, or rocky shore, at the heels of the Seileni and Dionysos, groups of nereids, nymphs, and tritons, sporting in the warm sunshine, on the unruffled expanse of ocean; and sacrifices, marriages, chariot-races, and chorusses of youths and virgins, moving through the mazes of the dance, around the altar of Apollo or Artemis. It is also to Hellenic goldsmiths that we are evidently to attribute those marvellous productions of art reckoned among the most boasted possessions of the Persian kings, such as that vine of gold,[797] with its vast grape clusters, imitated both in size and colour by the most precious gems, which formed a canopy over the royal couch, or that golden platane-tree[798] and other vine, 144which, rising from behind the throne, stretched its branches, tendrils, and leaves of gold aloft over the monarch as he sat in state to give audience to his people. Here the bunches of grapes in various stages of ripeness were represented by emeralds, Indian carbuncles, and other precious stones of the richest and most dazzling hues. These things we know were not the works of Persians, having been presented to Darius by Pythios, the Lydian, who, doubtless, caused them to be fashioned by Grecian artists. What may have been the exact dimensions of this platane-tree we know not; but, no doubt, Antiochos took an orator’s licence, when, in an assembly of the Arcadians, he described it as too diminutive to afford shelter to a grasshopper.[799]

We may here perhaps with propriety make mention of that multitude of golden statues[800] which thronged the temples of Greece. For it is not true, as Lucian pretends, that the Hellenic gods and goddesses were contented to shroud their beauty in marble, bronze, or ivory, while Mithras exhibited his rude visage, and Anubis his dog’s snout, in gold.[801] Even private individuals had statues erected to them of this precious metal; and there were not wanting 145those who, like Gorgias, at their own expense did the same honour to themselves.[802]

But the variety of articles thus composed of the precious metals was so great as almost to defy description.[803] There were candelabra,[804] thrones,[805] and chairs, shields,[806] basins and ewers,[807] flagons, censers, goblets in form of walnut-shells, ladles,[808] spoons, vinegar-saucers,[809] with almost every other article of the table. Crowns, likewise, for the heads of statues of princes, and successful generals, and other individuals whom the public desired to honour; with bread[810] and work baskets probably in filigree, clasps,[811] and spindles[812] for ladies, with armlets, anklets, bracelets, rings, necklaces of carbuncles,[813] earrings,[814] and circlets for the head. That these articles were usually formed with much taste and elegance we may infer from the fact, that artists of the greatest respectability were employed to make designs for them, while 146even the engravers of cups and goblets, as Mys, for example, sometimes acquired great celebrity.[815]

The ancients understood well the art of washing and plating articles formed of the inferior metals with gold and silver, as well as many ingenious devices for soldering, mixing, varying the colours, frosting the surface, and inlaying and flowering one metal with another. Statues in Attica were commonly lacquered with gold;[816] and, from the remotest antiquity, the art of gilding appears to have flourished in Greece, since we find mention of it in Homer, who speaks of gilding[817] the horns of victims offered up to the gods. The ancients, unquestionably, employed much thicker gold leaf in this process than the moderns; from which it has been inferred, that they were incapable of reducing it to greater tenuity. But, besides that, when the leaves were too thin, the quicksilver which they employed as a glue appeared through, and dimmed the splendour of the gold, they seem to have aimed at that very duration which causes us to admire the fragments of their gilding that still exist:—in the subterraneous chambers, for example, of the Villa Borghese on the Palatine hill, where the figures in gold scattered over a ground of celestial blue, look as fresh as if just laid on.[818] Metals of all kinds were likewise gilt—as copper, and silver, and bronze. In gilding marble the leaf was attached to the stone with white of egg, which was likewise employed, instead of quicksilver, 147by dishonest workmen, who could thus make use of a much thinner leaf.[819] The moderns in gilding marble substitute the juice of garlic and figs. The practice of gilding wood and leather was also common in antiquity, as we find mention of gilt wooden statues and beads,[820] and harness, and sandal-thongs. The walls and roofs of chambers were covered, moreover, with gilding, and this ornament was laid as well on wainscot as stucco.[821] The conjecture of a modern writer,[822] that the ancients were acquainted with the art of gilding in ormolu seems to be unfounded.

One of the minor, but most flourishing, branches of the goldsmiths’ trade seems to have been the making and setting of rings,[823] for which the Greeks indulged an extraordinary fondness. They accordingly had them of every form and material. Some persons, for example, wore a plain gold, or silver, or even iron, hoop; others a silver ring encircled by a narrow band of gold, or a gold ring with a band of silver, or an iron ring inlaid with gold.[824] Some persons were satisfied with a bronze ring, or one of gilt iron,[825] which they wore apparently in memory of Prometheus, who, to preserve Zeus’ word unbroken, was fabled to bear on his finger an iron ring set with a piece of Caucasian stone as a signet, so that, by a divine sort of quibble, he might for ever be said to be chained to Caucasus.[826] Others, again, delighted in rings of amber,[827] white or yellow, or ivory, or porcelain, 148at least these were fashionable in Egypt. Sometimes, they wore silver rings with signets of gold, or the contrary. Mention, too, is made of a ring formed entirely of carnelian, which, to preserve it, was encircled by a narrow hoop of silver, and set with a golden signet.[828]

Jugglers sold to persons of large faith rings[829] that would cure the colic;[830] and articles of this description with magic and talismanic virtues appear to have been at all times abundant and in great request.

Of signets[831] the most ancient would appear to have been small bits of wood, which, having been worm-eaten in a grotesque or fanciful manner,[832] were cut and polished, and used by some rough Thane for a crest, in memory of which practice precious stones were in after ages engraved so as to imitate exactly these rude materials.[833] In process of time nearly every variety of precious stone[834] came to be engraved for rings and seals.[835] Of these the most remarkable was the carbuncle, in colour like a ripe mulberry, which when held up in the sun glows 149like a flame or burning coal,[836] probably the reason why it was supposed to shine in the dark like a lamp.[837] Under this name many gems known at present by different appellations seem to have been included, as the ruby,[838] whose proper colour is a cochineal red of surpassing richness, admitting, however, occasionally, various intermixtures of blue, producing the rose-red ruby, the former of a full carmine, or rose colour, the latter tinged with a mixture of blue; the rubacelle whose glowing red is dashed with a cast of yellow; the true and the sorane garnet; the rock ruby of a violet red; the almandine and the hyacinth, now confounded with the amethyst. Next to the above was the carnelian[839] of a deep ensanguined hue, chiefly obtained from the island of Sardinia: the jasper of a dark green, with spots of many colours, the sapphire blue bespangled with gold.

Another gem held in high estimation by the ancients was the emerald,[840] the exquisite colour of which, generally the most intense green, was supposed to be more grateful to the eye than the sight of vernal woods or meadows. For this reason many persons selected it for seals in preference to all other stones.[841] Even the lapidaries employed in cutting it were believed to have their vision improved by its refreshing virtues. All emeralds, however, are not of one hue, but exhibit every possible shade of green, from the dusky tint of the 150olive leaf to the pale verdure of the acacia.[842] The Greek jewellers appear to have judged of the genuineness of this stone by plunging it into clear water: for if it were a true emerald it would, they thought, impart its colour to the whole of the surrounding element; if not, a small part only of it would be tinged.[843]

The ancients possessed a species of bastard emerald, found in vast blocks, so that we read of an emerald obelisk in Egypt, which, though consisting of but four pieces, rose to the height of sixty feet.[844] Of this stone, probably, was the famous pillar which adorned the entrance of the temple of Heracles at Tyre.[845] Of real emeralds the largest known does not exceed six inches in length, and two in diameter. It may be observed, that much pains and labour were expended in bringing the emerald to its lustre.[846]

The lyncurios or modern hyacinth is enumerated among the seal gems.[847] Its colour is that of flame with an intermixture of deep red, though it is sometimes found of a full saffron hue, or even resembling amber. It has by several writers been supposed to be the tourmaline. The lyncurios was exceedingly hard and difficult to work. They likewise cut and engraved for seals the amber, which Theophrastus describes as a native mineral; the hyaloides, the omphax, the crystal,[848] the sardonyx, the agate, the onyx, and the amethyst.[849] A gem of extraordinary beauty was once found in the gold mines of Lampsacos, which, having been engraved by a Tyrian lapidary, was presented to the Persian King.[850]

151Respecting the various processes by which precious stones were engraved, the ancients have left us but a few scattered hints. It appears certain, however, that they polished precious stones with emery,[851] and possessed the lapidary’s wheel, with all the finer tools at present in use, including the diamond point,[852] which there is reason to believe they likewise fixed on the wheel.[853] At any rate, they contrived with the instruments they possessed to engrave figures, as of lions, heroes, bacchantes, caryatides, trophies,[854] both in relief and intaglio, which for beauty and delicacy have never yet been equalled. It was at one time a question whether or not they were acquainted with the microscope,[855]—though how they could engrave without it figures which we require its assistance distinctly to perceive, seems somewhat difficult to comprehend. The gem, for example, called the seal of Michael Angelo, in the French king’s cabinet, though it does not exceed half an inch in diameter, contains fifteen figures most elaborately wrought.[856] A private gentleman at Rome possessed a wolf’s tooth on which was a representation of the twelve gods.[857] Cicero commemorates an individual who had written the whole Iliad in characters so minute and in so small a compass, that it could be contained in a walnut-shell.[858] Myrmecides, the Milesian, and Callicrates, the Lacedæmonian, manufactured ivory chariots so small, that they could be covered with the wing of a fly; and wrote two verses in gold letters on a grain of sesame.[859]

We find mention, however, of burning-glasses as 152early as the age of Socrates;[860] and a number of lenses, more powerful than those employed by our own engravers, have been found among the ruins of Herculaneum.[861] We may here, also, remark by the way, that the Greek astronomers appear to have been acquainted with the telescope.[862]

632. Demosth. in Olymp. § 3. Athen. i. 33. Poll. vii. 177.

633. Herod. iii. 20. Pignor. De Serv. 192. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 1015. 1027. Athen. xv. 39. Poll. x. 119.

634. Lucian. Amor. 39.

635. Horat. Carm. ii. 723. Dœring, however, supposes vessels in the shape of shells to be meant.

636. Poll. x. 126.

637. From the way in which this perfumer is mentioned by the comic poets, it may be inferred, that he demanded exceedingly high prices for his commodities. For, in order apparently to tax a person with excessive extravagance, he is said to have purchased unguents of Peron wherewith to anoint the feet of some friend or patron. Athen. xv. 40. xii. 78.

638. Athen. i. 33. xii. 78. xiv. 50. Bochart. Geog. Sac. i. 272, seq. Max. Tyr. p. 10.

639. Athen. xv. 42. Dioscor. 1. 75.

640. Dioscor. 1. 74.

641. Ἀμάρακος. Dioscor. i. 68. Poll. vi. 104.

642. Dioscor. i. 57.

643. Id. i. 53.

644. Id. i. 42.

645. Ἀδιάντον. Theoph. Hist. Plant. vii. 14. 1.

646. Poll. vi. 104.

647. Id. vi. 105. Dioscor. iii. 116.

648. Dioscor. i. 124.

649. Poll. vi. 104. Dioscor. iii. 51. Παρὰ πολλοῖς δὲ τῶν κωμῳδιοποιῶν ὀνομάζεται τι μύρον βάκκαρις· οὗ μνημονεύει καὶ Ἱππώναξ διὰ τούτων·

—Βακκάρει δὲ τὰς ῥῖνας

Ἤλειφον· ἔστι δ᾽ οἵη περ κρόκος.

Athen. Deipnosoph. xv. 41.

650. See on the various inventions of the Athenians, Frid. Creuzer, Orat. de Civit. Athen. Omn. Human. Parent. Francfurt. 1826.

651. This we are told the person itself of Alexander did, being by nature scented like a nosegay. Plut. Alexand. § 4. The same thing is related of Catherine de Medicis, and Lord Herbert of Cherbury. Blumenbach’s Physiology, Note. p. 182.

652. Cf. Il. ζ. 288. Athen. vi. 67. Poll. vi. 104. Plat. Rep. iii. p. 203. Stallb.

653. Athen. xv. 44.

654. Dioscor. i. 18.

655. Lucian. Dial. Meret, xiv. § 2.

656. Κρόκος. Dioscor. i. 64.

657. Æl. Spart. Vit. Adrian. c. 18. p. 16.

658. Lucan. Pharsal. 809.

659. Ἀβροτόνον. Dioscor. i. 60.

660. Οἰνάνθαι. Dioscor. i. 56. Theoph. de Caus. Plant. iii. 14. 8.

661. Dioscor. i. 63.

662. Ἄνηθον Dioscor. i. 61. Theoph. Hist. Plant. vii. 1. 2.

663. Dioscor. Noth. p. 442. d.

664. Dioscor. iv. 23. Cf. Plin. xiii. 1.

665. Dioscor. i. 55. 150.

666. From which the unguent obtained the name of βουτύρινον. Dioscor. i. 64.

667. Βρύον. Dioscor. i. 20.

668. Dioscor. i. 17.

669. Athen. xv. 42. To this perfume Strattis alludes in his Medea:—

——Καὶ λέγ’, ὅτι μύρον φέρεις αὐτῇ
Τοιοῦτον, οἷον οὐ Μέγαλλος πώποτε
Ἥψησεν, οὐδὲ Δινίας Αἰγύπτιος
Οὔτ᾽ εἶδεν, οὔτ᾽ ἐκτήσατο.—

670. Poll. vi. 104. Athen. xv. 42.

671. Poll. vi. 104. Athen. xv. 43.

672. Poll. vi. 104.

673. Dioscor. i. 24.

674. Id. i. 53.

675. We do not hear, however, that they carried their rage against nature so far as certain Parisian dames commemorated by Montaigne, Essais, t. iii. p. 29, sqq. “Qui n’a ouy parler à Paris de celle, qui se fit escorcher pour seulement en acquérir le teint plus frais d’une nouvelle peau? Il y en a qui se sont fait arracher des dents vives et saines, pour en former la voix plus molle, et plus grasse, ou pour les ranger en meilleur ordre. Combien d’examples du mespris de la douleur avons nous en ce genre? Que ne peuvent-elles? Que craignent-elles pour peu qu’il y ait d’agencement à espérer en leur beauté?

‘Vellere queis cura est albos à stirpe capillos,
Et faciem demptâ pellere referre novam.’
Tibull. i. 9. 45, seq.

“J’en ay veu engloutir du sable, de la cendre, et ce travailler à point nommé de ruiner leur estomac pour acquérir les pasles couleurs. Pour faire un corps bien espagnolé, quelle géhenne ne souffrent-elles, guindées et sanglées avec de grosses coches sur les costez, jusques à la chair vive? Ouy quelquefois à en mourir.”

676. Poll. v. 102.

Μὴ τοίνων τὸ πρόσωπον ἅπαν ψιμύθῳ κατάπλαττε,
Ὥστε προσοπεῖον, κ’ οὐχι πρόσωπον ἔχειν.
Anthol. Græc. xi. 408.

677. The pigment with which the interior of the eyelid is blackened at present is the soot of Ladanum, or incense, which the ladies themselves procure by casting a few grains of those precious substances upon coals of fire, and intercepting the smoke with a plate, on which the soot speedily accumulates. Chandler, ii. 140.


Τὴν κεφαλὴν βάπτεις, τὸ δὲ γῆρας οὔποτε βάψεις
Οὔδὲ παρειάων ἐκτανύσεις ῥυτίδας.
Anthol. Græc. xi. 408.

679. See Book iii. chapter v. and Pollux, v. 102.

680. Ῥόδον παρειαῖς φυτεύει, αὐθωρὸν ἀνθοῦν, καὶ θᾶττον ἀπανθοῦν κατὰ τὸ Λοκρὸν. Poll. v. 102. This fugitive species of rose is alluded to by Lycophron, in his Cassandra, 1429:

Λοκρὸν δ᾽ ὁποῖα παῦρον ἀνθήσας ῥόδον.

See the note of Meursius, t. iii. p. 1347. ed. C. G. Müller; and Jungermann ad Poll. t. iv. p. 1010.

681. To this Lucillius alludes in the Anthology:

Οὔποτε φῦκος
Καὶ ψίμυθος τεύξει τὴν Ἑκάβην Ἑλένην.
Anthol. Græc. xi. 408.

682. Poll. v. 101.

683. Cf. Theoph. Hist. Plant. vii. 8. 3.

684. Poll. v. 101. vii. 95.

685. Ion, in his Omphalè. Poll. v. 101. Luc. Amor. 39.

686. Dioscor. i. 93. And lamp-black. Alex. Frag. ap. Athen. xiii. 23. Cf. Luc. Bis Accus. § 31.

687. Dioscor. i. 101.

688. Ἡ λιθοκόλλα, μίγμα οὖσα μαρμάρου ἢ λίθου Παρίου καὶ ταυροκόλλης, δύναται διὰ μηλωτίδος πεπυρωμένης τρίχας ἀνακολλᾷν τὰς ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς. Dioscor. v. 164.

689. Dioscor. v. 137.

690. Id. v. 175.

691. Id. i. 12.

692. Id. ii. 101.

693. Id. ii. 189.

694. Id. i. 77.

695. Τῆλις. Id. i. 57.

696. Ἄμπέλος μελαίνα. Dioscor. iv. 185.

697. Id. iii. 102.

698. Id. i. 15.

699. Id. v. 97.

700. Dioscor. ii. 132.

701. Id. ii. 137.

702. Id. ii. 21. 97.

703. Ἄλυσσον. iii. 105.

704. Dioscor. ii. 200.

705. Id. i. 13.

706. Id. ii. 125.

707. Id. i. 128.

708. Id. i. 1.

709. Id. iv. 150.

710. Id. ii. 102.

711. Id. ii. 181.

712. Id. ii. 107.

713. Id. i. 101.

714. Id. i. 176.

715. Id. iv. 183. From the roots of the wild vine, also, a kind of paste was prepared, which was thought to cleanse the skin, and remove pimples and freckles. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 20. 3.

716. Dioscor. iii. 116.

717. Id. ii. 55.

718. Id. ii. 93.

719. Id. i. 6.

720. Id. i. 130.

721. These pastilles (τροχίσκοι) were about three oboloi in weight, and the purpose for which they were worn is thus stated by Dioscorides:—χρῆσις δὲ αὐτων ἐστιν, ἐπὶ γυναικῶν περιτιθεμένων τῳ τραχήλῳ ἀντὶ ὁρμῶν, ἀμβλυνουσῶν τὴν τῶν ἱδρώτων δυσωδίαν. i. 131.

722. Lucian. Amor. § 39. The beauty, however, of the Grecian ladies’ teeth was remarkable. Luc. Imag. § 9. False teeth were fastened in with gold wire. Rhet. Præcept. § 24.

723. Dioscor. ii. 4.

724. Id. v. 149.

725. Id. v. 125.

726. Id. ii. 77.

727. Ear-picks were commonly of olive-wood. Poll. ii. 102.

728. Dioscor. i. 89.

729. Ἐὰν τις ἑψήσας ἐν ζωμῷ ἢ ἐν ἄλλῳ τινὶ τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ μήλου ἐκπιέση εἰς τὸ στόμα καὶ καταροφήση, ποιεῖ τὴν ὀσμὴν ἡδεῖαν Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 4. 2. Dioscor. i. 166.

730. Dioscor. i. 64.

731. Id. i. 179.

732. Plut. Nic. § 30.

733. These irons were heated in the ashes. Pignor. de Servis, p. 194. Cf. Poll. ii. 31.

734. Luc. adv. Indoct. § 29. In Asia Minor, where numbers of ancient customs still linger, congealed blood is often used for shaving instead of soap. Chandler, i. 96. Can this practice plead a classical origin?

735. Cf. Artemid. Oneirocrit. ii. 7. p. 88. Gitone, Il Costume Antico e Moderno di tutti i Popoli, t. i. p. 24. Tav. 15.

736. We learn from an anecdote of Crates, that these barbers, like their descendants in modern times, were accustomed to envelope their patients in linen or cotton cloths. The Cynic, thinking proper one day to walk the streets in his shirt, was reprimanded by the Astynomos. “I will show you Theophrastus in a similar garb,” he replied. “Where?” inquired the magistrate. “There!” answered Crates, pointing to a barber’s shop where the philosopher was undergoing the operation of shaving. Diog. Laert. vi. 90.

737. Lucian. adv. Indoct. § 29. Cf. Poll. ii. 27.

738. Zoëga, Bassi Rilievi. ii. 239.

739. Cf. Plut. Thes. §. 5.

740. Vid. Il. δ. 533. Plut. Thes. § 5. Dion Chrysost. i. 261, seq. Κάλυμμα. Aristoph. Lysist. 530. et Schol. Eq. 578.

741. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 118. The practice of shaving does not appear to have grown common until the times of Alexander of Macedon. Athen. xiii. 18.

742. Sch. Aristoph. Eq. 631. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. p. 115. Luc. Dial. Meret. xii. § 5. Poll. ii. 30. Dutens, in his Origines des Découvertes attribuées aux Modernes, p. 290, seq. has collected an ill-digested heap of materials on ancient wigs, principally, however, on those of the Romans.

743. Pignor. De Serv. p. 193.

744. Ὅλα δὲ καέντα λεῖα μετὰ ἀξιουγγίου ἢ στέατος ἀρκτείου, ἀλωπεκίας ἐπιχρισθέντα δασύνει. Dioscor. i. 169.

745. Dioscor. ii. 181. Maidenhair, black and white, pounded in oil to the consistence of a paste, prevented the hair from falling off. Theoph. Hist. Plant. vii. 14. 1.

746. Dioscor. iii. 25.

747. Id. i. 77.

748. Id. i. 140.

749. This fact is mentioned in a very curious passage of the treatise De Generatione Animalium, v. 5: Ὅτι δὲ γίγνεται ἡ πολιὰ σήψει τινὶ, καὶ ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν (ὥσπερ οἴονταί τινες) αὔανσις, σημεῖον τοῦ προτέρου ῥηθέντος, τὸ τὰς σκεπαζομένας τρίχας πίλοις ἢ καλύμμασι, πολιοῦσθαι θᾶττον· (τὰ γὰρ πνεύματα κωλύει τὴν σῆψιν· ἡ δὲ σκέπη ἄπνοιαν ποιεῖ) καὶ τὸ βοηθεῖν τὴν ἄλειψιν τοῦ ὕδατος καὶ τοῦ ἐλαίου μιγνυμένων Τὸ μὲν γὰρ ὕδωρ, ψύχει· τὸ δὲ ἔλαιον μιγνύμενον, κωλύει ξηραίνεσθαι ταχέως. Τὸ γὰρ ὕδωρ εὐξήραντον.

750. Dioscor. ii. 11.

751. Id. ii. 146.

752. Id. ii. 21.

753. Id. ii. 199.

754. Id. ii. 28.

755. Id. ii. 46.

756. Id. v. 168.

757. Id. v. 136.

758. Id. i. 178.

759. Id. i. 96.

760. Id. i. 96.

761. Sch. Aristoph. Acharn. 157.

762. Dioscor. iv. 110.

763. Id. ii. 16.

764. Δρυοπτερὶς, Dioscor. iv. 189.

765. Dioscor. v. 1.

766. Id. v. 121.

767. Id. v. 129.

768. Id. v. 127.

769. Id. iv. 170.

770. Poll. v. 102. ii. 37. Plat. De Rep. vi. 87.

771. Κύπρος. Dioscor. i. 124.

772. Dioscor. i. 171.

773. Id. i. 132.

774. Luc. Dial. Meret. xi. § 3.

775. Dioscor. v. 181.

776. Id. v. 119.

777. Φλόμος. Dioscor. iv. 104. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 123.

778. Dioscor. i. 155. v. 37.

779. Dioscor. ii. 210.

780. Χαμαιάκτης καρποὶ. Dioscor. iv. 175.

781. Dioscor. iii. 40.

782. Id. i. 180.

783. Id. i. 150.

784. Dioscor. i. 102.

785. Id. iv. 80. The berry of the yew-tree, known to be perfectly harmless, was often eaten in antiquity. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 10. 3.

786. Dem. cont. Mid. § 8.

787. The kings and courtiers of Persia even during the dangers of their military expeditions carried along with them not only bowls and goblets, but complete services for the table in silver and gold. Herod. vii. 119. These instruments of luxury appear often to have operated as an incitement to victory upon the enemies of Persia, at least they constituted its reward. Thus in the plunder of Mardonios’s camp at Platæa, the Helots found, we are told, tents sumptuously decorated with silver and gold, bedsteads plated with the same precious metals, gold bowls, cups, and other drinking vessels, and carriages laden with golden and silver caldrons: σάκκους τε ἐπ᾽ ἁμαξέων εὕρισκον, ἐν τοῖσι λέβητες ἐφαίνοντο ἐνεόντες χρύσεοι τε καὶ ἀργύρεοι. Id. ix. 80.

788. Thucyd. vi. 46.

789. Plut. Alcib. § 4.

790. Athen. vi. 17. xi. 105. Demosthen. adv. Tim. § 5. 7. Winkelm. Hist. de l’Art, i. 277. Poll. i. 28.

791. Plat. Tim. vii. 77. 19. De Rep. t. vi. p. 86. 164. Schol. Acharn. Arist. 1187. Among the cabinet ornaments of the ancients, we find ostrich eggs set in silver. Plin. x. 1.

792. Goldsmiths made use, in burnishing, of the Samian stone. Dioscor. v. 173.

793. Athen. iv. 29. Casaub. ad. Theoph. Char. 311. These rich articles we find were sometimes pledged to raise money. Dem. adv. Spud. § 4.

794. Athen. xi. 17.

795. Athen. ix. 75. From the quantity of gold and silver plate laid up in the Egyptian temples, it is evident the same taste prevailed also in Egypt. Luc. Toxar. § 28.

796. Herodot. i. 51.

797. Athen. xii. 8. Herod. vii. 27.

798. Athen. xii. 55. The kings of America, guided by the same taste, far exceeded the Persian monarchs in magnificence. Montaigne, having spoken of the natural quickness and intelligence of the Indians, adds: “L’espouvantable magnificence des villes de Cusco et de Mexico; et entre plusieurs choses pareilles, le jardin de ce roy, où tous les arbres, les fruicts, et toutes les herbes, selon l’ordre et grandeur qu’ils ont en un jardin, estoient excellemment formées en or: comme en son cabinet tous les animaux, qui naissoient en son estat et en ses mers: et la beauté de leurs ouvrages, en pierrerie, en plume, en cotton, en la peinture, montrent qu’ils ne nous cédoient non plus en l’industrie.” Essais, l. iii. c. vi. t. viii. p. 33. Cf. Solis, Histoire de la Conquête du Mexique, l. iii. c. xiv.

799. Xenoph. Hellen. vii. 1. 38.

800. Poll. viii. 86.

801. Lucian. Jup. Trag. § § 8. 9. Toxar. § 28. Cf. Alexand. § 18. Not to mention other statues we find, that there was at Proconnesos, and afterwards at Cyzicos, an image of Dindymenè of massive gold, except the face, which was wrought with the teeth of the hippopotamos. Pausan. viii. 46. 4. See also Winkel. Hist. de l’Art, on the statues of gold and ivory found in Greece, t. i. p. 35. The Minotaur, whether in picture or statue, was represented as a man with a bull’s head. Lucian. Var. Hist. lib. ii. § 41.

802. Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxiii. 24. According to the general testimony of ancient writers, however, the golden statue at Delphi was erected to the Leontine sophist, by a general subscription. Eudoc. Ion. p. 101. Valer. Max. viii. 15. Ext. 2. But from a passage in the Phædros, it may be inferred, that the practice prevailed as described in the text: Καὶ σοὶ ἐγώ, ὥσπερ οἱ ἐννέα ἄρχοντες, ὑπισχνοῦμαι χρυσῆν εἰκόνα ἰσομέτρητον εἰς Δελφοὺς ἀναθήσειν, οὐ μόνον ἐμαυτοῦ ἀλλὰ καὶ σήν. Plat. Opp. t. i. p. 19.

803. Among the Athenian chasers in metal Lycios obtained celebrity. Demosth. adv. Timoth. § 7. Cf. Suid. t. ii. p. 66. d. e.

804. Gitone, Il Costume, tavv. 61, 62. Raccolta de’ Monumenti più interessanti del Real Museo Borbonico, &c. tavv. 29, 30, 53, 54, 55. Athen. xi. 48.

805. Xenoph. Hellen. v. 1. 3. Plut. Lysand. § 9.

806. Pausan. i. 25. 7.

807. Athen. ix. 75.

808. Id. iii. 100.

809. Suid. v. Ὀξύβαφον. t. ii. p. 319. d.

810. Athen. vi. 15.

811. Ælian. Var. Hist. i. 18.

812. Herod. iv. 162.

813. Lucian. Dial. Meret. vi. i. Plut. Phoc. § 19. Among the necklaces in fashion were some of gold and amber beads intermixed. Luc. Heracl. § 3. A pair of earrings sometimes cost no more than five drachmas. Id. Somn. seu Gall. §29. Cf. Athen. xii. 46. Hom. Odyss. σ. 290.

814. Il. x. 182. Poll. ii. 102.

815. Athen. xi. 19.

816. That is if Pollux has been rightly interpreted, ii. 214. vii. 163, with the notes of the commentators, t. iv. p. 486. t. v. p. 472.

817. Odyss. γ. 437, seq. Macrob. Saturn. i. 17. Ovid. Metam. vii. 161, seq. x. 271, seq. Cf. Herod. ii. 63.

818. “Les deux chambres souterraines du palais des empereurs sur le mont Palatin dans la villa Borghèse, nous offrent des ornemens dorés aussi frais que s’ils venoient d’être faits, quoique ces chambres soient fort humides à cause de la terre qui les couvre. On ne peut voir sans admiration les bandes de bleu céleste en forme d’arcs, et chargées de petites figures d’or, qui décorent ces pièces. La dorure s’est aussi conservée dans le ruines de Persépolis.” Winkelm. Hist. de l’Art. t. ii. p. 91.

819. On the gilding of the ancients see Beckmann, Hist. of Inventions. Vol. iv. p. 176, seq. Winkelmann, Hist. de l’Art. t. i. p. 34. t. ii. p. 90, seq. 647. Goguet. t. iv. p. 53, sqq.

820. Xen. Œconom. x. 3. 61.

821. Plin. xxxiii. 18. Senec. Epist. 115.

822. Dutens, Orig. des Découvertes, &c. p. 180.

823. Sch. Aristoph. Nub. 331. 756. Poll. ii. 155. See Kirchman, de Annulis, p. 12, and passim.

824. Plin. xxxiv. 4.

825. Kirchman, de Annulis Veterum, c. iii. p. 10.

826. Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. vi. 41.

827. Σούκινοι καὶ ἐλεφάντινοι, δάκτυλοι ταῖς γυναιξίν εἰσι σύμφοροι. Suid. t. ii. 775. c. Artemid. l. ii. c. v. Plin. xxxvii. 2.

828. Kirchman, de Ann. Vet. c. iii. p. 16. The Egyptians were accustomed to wear little images of carnelian suspended from the neck. A specimen of these figures, representing Typhon, or the evil principle, I brought home with me to Europe. It had been found in the ruins of Thebes.

829. Lucian speaks of a talismanic ring having engraved on it the figure of a Pythian Apollo. Philopseud. § 38; and of another made from the iron-work of a cross, § 17.

830. Athen. iii. 96.

831. Treasurer’s ring. Athen. viii. 29. See Long. de Annul. Sig. p. 42, sqq. Gorl. de Annul. Orig. Kornman. de Tripl. Ann. p. 44. We may here, by the way, mention that law of Solon which forbade a lapidary to retain in his possession the copy of any ring he had engraved. Diog. Laert. i. 2. 9.

832. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. i. 2. Θριπήδεστα, ξυλήφια τὰ ὑπὸθριπων βεβρωμένα, οἷς ἐχρῶντο οἱ σφόδρα οἰκονομικοὶ ἀντὶ γλυπτῶν σφραγίδων. Eustath. ad Odyss. α. t. iii. p. 37. 12. Suid. θριπηδέστατον. t. i. p. 1329. b. Etym. Mag. 456. 23.

833. “Dans le cabinet de Stosch il y a une pierre dont la gravure imite très-bien les sillons d’un bois rongé par les vers.” Winkel. Hist. de l’Art. t. i. p. 43.

834. Plat. Tim. vii. 80. Plin. ii. 63. xxxiii. 1. Herod. i. 195.

835. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 994. See Mawe, Treatise on Diamonds, p. 85—134. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 954.

836. Ἀλλο δὲ τι γένος ἐστὶ λίθων ὥσπερ ἐξ ἐναντίων πεφυκὸς, ἄκαυστον ὅλως, ἄνθραξ καλούμενος, ἐξ οὗ καὶ τὰ σφραγίδια γλύφουσιν, ἐρυθρὸν μὲν τῷ χρώματι, πρὸς δὲ τὸν ἥλιον τιθέμενον ἄνθρακος καιομένου ποιεῖ χρόαν. Theoph. de Lapid. § 18.

837. “Is vulgo putatur in tenebris carbonis instar lucere; fortassis quia Pyropus, seu Anthrax appellatus à veteribus fuit.” Anselm, Boet. Gemmarum et Lapidum Historia, t. ii. c. viii. p. 140.

838. Sir John Hill, Notes on Theophrastus, de Lapidibus, p. 76, seq.

839. Theoph. de Lapid. § 23.

840. Plin. xxxvii. 16. Boetius, l. ii. c. lii. 195. Menand. ap. Athen. iii. 46. Luc. Saturn. Epist. § 29. Suid. v. σμάραγδος. t. ii. p. 769. a.

841. Theoph. de Lapid. § 24.

842. See Baldæus, description of the Coasts of Malabar and Coromandel, chap. xxiv.

843. Theoph. de Lapid. § 23.

844. Id. § 24. Plin. xxxvii. 19.

845. Theoph. de Lapid. § 25.

846. Id. § 27, seq.

847. Anselm. Boet. Gem. et Lapid. Hist. l. ii. c. 258, p. 477.

848. Winkelm. ii. 110.

849. Theoph. de Lapid. § 30. Poll. iii. 87. Luc. Dial. Meret. ix. § 2. Cf. de Syr. Dea, § 32. Precious stones of various kinds were employed to represent the eyes in statues, when the white was imitated by thin silver plates. Winkelm. Hist. de l’Art. t. ii. p. 94.

850. Theoph. de Lapid. § 32.

851. Σμύρις λίθος ἐστιν, ᾗ τὰς ψήφους οἱ δακτυλιογλύφοι σμήχουσι. Dioscor. v. 166.

852. Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxvii. 15, with the authors cited by Hardouin.

853. Winkelm. Hist. de l’Art. t. ii. p. 108.

854. Plut. Alexand. § 1. Timol. § 31. Herod. iii. 41.

855. Cf. Senec. Quæst. Nat. i. 6. Macrob. Saturn. viii. 14.

856. Dutens, Origine des Découvertes, &c. p. 265.

857. Winkelm. Hist. de l’Art. t. i. p. 36. n. 4.

858. Plin. Hist. Nat. vii. 21.

859. Ælian. Var. Hist. i. 17.

860. Aristoph. Nub. 764, seq. Cf. Aristot. Analyt. Post. i. 31. 8. Barthelémy St. Hilaire de la Logique d’Aristot. t. ii. p. 367.

861. Dutens, Origine des Découvertes, &c. p. 265. i.

862. Id. p. 115, seq. Nixon. in Phil. Trans. v. lii. p. 125.



The earliest smiths[863] in Greece wrought not in iron but in brass, of which, at first, both arms and domestic implements were fashioned. In Mexico and Peru, where, likewise, copper[864] was known before iron, they possessed the art of hardening it to so great a degree, that it would even cut stones and the closest-grained wood. The same or a similar process was known to the ancients, and might still, perhaps, be easily recovered were it any longer an object to be desired. The Greeks always retained a strong partiality for articles of brass, copper, and bronze, and besides statues,[865] pillars,[866] and trees, where the fruit was sometimes of gold,[867] employed them in cups, urns, vases, and caldrons, with covers of the 154same metal.[868] We also find mention made of brazen mangers, and even maps.[869]

With tin, also, the Greeks, even in the Homeric age, were acquainted;[870] and, among other uses which they, in later ages, made of it, was that of lining the inside of their cooking utensils.[871]

At a period beyond the reach of history they obtained a knowledge of the use of both iron[872] and steel, the invention of which they attributed to Hephaistos.[873] Homer, who speaks of axes and other implements of steel, or, rather, of iron steeled at the edge, describes the process of forming it by immersion in cold water.[874] In the manufacture of the Homeric swords steel only would appear to have been, in most cases, employed, since they were extremely brittle, and often shivered to pieces by a mere blow upon shield or helmet. To guard against this effect the superior and more delicate articles were, in later times, cooled not in water but in oil.[875] The Spartans, we are told, quenched their iron money in vinegar which rendered it, they supposed, brittle and unmalleable, consequently of no value but as a token.[876]

Among the earliest nations who excelled in the smelting of iron and the manufacture of steel were 155the Chalybes,[877] who are said to have collected the ore from the beds of their rivers, and to have mingled therewith a certain quantity of the mineral pyrimachos. Aristotle, in describing the process of smelting, observes, that steel, in passing through the furnace, not only diminishes in quantity but in specific gravity also, that is to say, becomes less valuable. It was one merit of the Chalybean steel that it was not liable to rust. The method of preparing this metal which prevailed among the Celtiberians was this:[878] they buried a number of iron plates in the earth, where they suffered them to remain until the greater portion was converted into rust.[879] They then drew them forth and wrought them into various kinds of weapons, particularly swordblades, which were so keen that neither shields, nor helmets, nor sculls, were able to resist their edge. To this the complimentary Plutarch likens the language of the Spartans.[880]

It was thought of much importance by the ancients to select for the quenching of steel water possessing certain occult qualities, whose existence was only to be detected by experiment. By these the river of the Chalybeans was thought to be distinguished,[881] as well as the waters near Como, at Calatayud and Tarragona in Spain. Water has, likewise, been prepared, by a variety of infusions, for communicating a finer temper and greater hardness to steel, an example of which is mentioned in the history of the Duke Cosmo, who invented, according to Vasari,[882] a liquid wherein were hardened the tools 156with which Francesco del Tadda was enabled to cut a fountain-basin, and several other articles, from a block of the hardest porphyry. Nothing, however, was more common than this operation among the ancients, both Greeks and Egyptians, by whom porphyry was cut into every variety of form, and invested with the highest polish.[883]

The best steel appears to have been obtained from the Seres, from Parthia, and from India,[884] where, when polished, it assumed the bright appearance of silver, and probably like that of Damascus contained a small proportion of this metal. That which came from Sinope and the Chalybes served for the manufacture of ordinary tools; the Laconian[885] was wrought into files, augers, chisels, and the other implements of stone-cutters; the Lydian stood in high estimation with the sword-cutlers, and the manufacturers of razors and surgical instruments.[886] The locks and keys[887] of the ancients, if we may judge from the specimens found at Pompeii, were of a somewhat rude construction, though probably manufactured of the best iron.

The workshop and tools of the smith bore the closest possible resemblance to those of the present day; the bellows[888] consisting of thin boards connected by flaps of cow-hide, and having a snout of iron, the anvil mounted on a high block, the hammer, the tongs, the vice, which require no particular description.

Respecting the quality of Grecian cutlery it must be acknowledged that our information is exceedingly scanty, though we may reasonably infer, that it 157often possessed the greatest excellence and beauty from the perfection to which they had undoubtedly brought the manufacture of arms. In this branch of industry the Delphians would seem to have obtained celebrity, though the form and uses of their knives, alluded to in a comparison by Aristotle,[889] can be looked upon only as matter of conjecture. It seems to me, that, like Hudibras’ dagger, they would serve for a variety of purposes, as a poignard for example, as a sacrificial instrument, and as a common knife:

When it had stabbed, or broke a head,
It would scrape trenchers or chip bread,
Toast cheese or bacon, though it were
To bait a mousetrap ’twould not care.

There was a very elegant sort of knives among the Athenians, adorned with ivory handles, delicately carved with the figures of animals, among which was that of a crouching lioness.[890] For this purpose the ivory was frequently stained of different colours, as pink, or crimson, or purple, according to the fancy of the workman. Knife-handles were sometimes also made of the roots of the lotos,[891] which, no doubt, took a fine polish and were beautifully clouded. Their scissors, bodkins, sailmakers’ needles, common needles, pins,[892] and other articles of this description, would seem to have been manufactured with much neatness.

But the most flourishing trade in Greece was probably that of the armourer,[893] which, at almost every period of her history, was in constant request. Many, probably, of the useful arts owed much of the progress they made to the passion of the Greeks for arms, which led them industriously to study and 158invent whatever could add to their splendour or efficiency. We need not now go back to the times when sticks and stones and pointed reeds formed the national weapons.[894] Among the very first steps in civilisation were improvements in the art of self-defence; for, wherever men have found it necessary to create property, they have felt it to be equally so to invent weapons for protecting themselves in the enjoyment of it. Accordingly the Greeks, long before the birth of history, had surrounded themselves by numerous instruments of destruction, and learned to cover their bodies with armour infinitely varied in materials and workmanship.

Upon none of their weapons, however, did they bestow greater attention than on the sword, which if it did not, as among certain barbarians, constitute one of the objects of their worship,[895] was in most cases their inseparable companion through life, and descended with them even to the grave. Thus we find, that, when Cimon opened, at Scyros, the grave of Theseus, the national hero of Attica, he found beside the skeleton a spearhead and sword of brass.[896] Their blades were of many different shapes 159and dimensions: they had the long, sharp, double-edged rapier; the short cut and thrust; the crooked scimitar, the sabre, and the broad-sword.[897] These were generally of the finest steel, highly polished, and sometimes damaskened exactly like those blades afterwards manufactured at Damascus. The sheath was sometimes of ivory, sometimes of gold or silver or tin or other inferior metal.[898] To the first-mentioned substance we have an allusion in a saying of Diogenes, who on hearing a handsome young man make use of low language, exclaimed: “How shameless! to draw forth a sword of lead from a sheath of ivory.”[899] The hilts were often extremely superb, of costly materials, and wrought in the most fanciful shapes. We read, for example, of sword-handles studded or inlaid with gold, or even composed entirely of that metal, or of silver.[900] Ivory too, and amber,[901] and terebinth,[902] polished and black as ebony, and a variety of other woods and substances, stained black with nut-gall,[903] were employed for this purpose. The father of Demosthenes, who kept a large manufactory of arms, left behind him a considerable quantity of ivory and gall-nuts[904] which he had purchased as well for his own use as to supply other armourers in a smaller way. Of daggers there were various kinds, some of a larger size, worn suspended on the thigh with the sword, as the hunting knife was by the Persian youth; others much smaller, which seem to have been carried about concealed under the armpit, as is still the fashion in the East. To this practice Socrates alludes in his conversation with Polos of Agrigentum,[905] on the power possessed in states by tyrants, whom he compares 160to one who should go forth into the marketplace with an enchiridion concealed about him, and for that reason fancy it in his power to take away every man’s life, because he could undoubtedly kill any one he pleased.

Next in importance perhaps was the manufacture of javelins and spears.[906] Of the former, the heads,[907] light though sometimes broad, were mounted on slender ashen shafts shod with iron, or on the long Cretan reed[908] which abounded in the marshes about Haliartos in Bœotia. These javelins, in more modern times, were furnished with a looped thong, by which when the darter had missed his aim, they could be drawn back.[909] The best kind were supposed to be manufactured in Bœotia. Spear-shafts were likewise sometimes of ash,[910] but more frequently of cornel wood,[911] and occasionally, as in the case of the Macedonian sarissa, eighteen feet long. Like the javelin, the spear also was shod sharp with iron, in order the more easily to be fixed upright in the earth, when soldiers slept abroad in the fields.[912] This part of the iron-work, which was hollow and received the shaft into it, is said to have been shaped like a lizard, doubtless represented as holding the point of the handle in its mouth. Projections resembling legs extended on both sides, designed to prevent the spear from sinking too deep into the ground. In the lances of the cavalry there was, as some suppose, a small notch to receive the point of the horseman’s foot when mounting his steed. The spear-head, generally of iron or steel, was among the Arab allies of Xerxes formed of goat’s horn, fashioned like the iron of a lance.[913]

161The bows[914] of the ancients were most commonly composed of horn, tipped with gold or other metal at either end. Among the barbarous nations there were those who manufactured them of cane or palm-branches, or even of the long stem of the date.[915] The bowstring was of thong or horse-hair. Reeds generally constituted the shafts of their arrows,[916] which were headed with iron or copper, or hard pointed stones, as those of the Arabs in the army of Xerxes, who employed for this purpose the same stones wherewith they engraved their seals.[917] Arrows were frequently winged with eagles’ feathers, and tinged at the point with poison.[918] In sieges they were often armed with fire.[919]

Besides the above, there were several other implements of destruction. The Greeks made use of the club, the battle-axe, and the sling.[920] And a tribe of barbarians, once mentioned in history, depended entirely on their daggers, and a noosed rope of twisted thongs,[921] which they used for entangling and overthrowing man or horse, much in the same 162manner as the lasso is now employed in the Pampas of South America.

If we turn now to their armour, we shall find that they displayed in its manufacture the greatest possible skill, taste, and ingenuity. Their helmets, cuirasses, shields, cuisses, and greaves, were made of polished steel, or brass, or tin, sometimes curiously figured, and inlaid with metals of many different colours, and polished to an exceeding brightness,[922] sometimes adorned with representations in relief. Frequently they went cased in shirts of mail, composed of innumerable small metallic plates, lapping over each other so as to resemble the scales of fishes. Occasionally the opulent appeared on the field of battle in golden armour,[923] though this piece of ostentation was chiefly confined to the barbarians.[924] The armourers’ craft, however, seems to have gone on improving in proportion as the courage of the nation deteriorated, until at length, in Macedonian times, armour of enormous weight, and, literally, impenetrable, came into use. Thus Zoilos manufactured for Demetrios Poliorcetes two coats-of-mail,[925] of a steel so hard, that the surface could scarcely be grazed by an arrow discharged from a catapult. The whole suit weighed no less than one hundred and thirty pounds, exactly twice as much as an ordinary suit of armour.

Helmets[926] were manufactured of numerous materials. First, in the ruder ages, they were in reality nothing more than so many close skull-caps made of the skins[927] of otters or water-dogs, with the hair on,[928] 163or foxes, or weasels, or goats, or bulls, or lions. But as the arts of civilisation improved, metal casques were soon substituted for these primitive defences, some of which, of wrought steel, were highly polished, and shone like burnished silver. That of Alexander was manufactured by Theophilos.[929] The helmet consisted of a variety of parts: as, first, the casque itself, inlaid with brass and iron,[930] which enclosed and defended the head, the front brim projecting over the forehead; the vizor, which dropped over the whole face; the strap, often richly embroidered or studded with jewels,[931] passing under the chin; and the ridge, or cone, on the summit, from which rose the plumes, or crest.[932] This crest, double, treble, or even quadruple, according to the taste or fancy of the wearer, sometimes consisted of long drooping ostrich feathers,[933] sometimes of horse-hair, either black or dyed of different colours, which, trembling and floating over the warrior’s head, appeared to augment his stature while it added to the terror of his aspect. King Pyrrhos, we are told, wore upon his helmet the horns of a goat, symbolical of the power of Macedon;[934] and the Asiatic Thracians flanked their crests with the horns and ears of an ox in brass.[935] To break the force of blows from clubs or heavy battle-axes, the crown of the helmet was thickly lined with sponge or soft wool.[936] Mention is likewise made of helmets of plaited cord of wood and leather,[937] and the skins of horses’ heads, retaining the ears and the mane.[938]

In the manufacture of corslets and cuirasses[939] much industry and ability was exhibited. The former were 164generally composed of linen or hempen twine curiously wrought, and doubled or trebled according to the desire of the purchaser,[940] and worn chiefly in the chase;[941] others consisted of thick leathern jerkins, covered with metallic scales,[942] single, double, or treble, and fastened to each other by a series of hooks. In lieu of these plates was sometimes substituted a coating of intertwisted rings, resembling in some respects the chain armour of a later age. Wooden cuirasses were also sometimes worn.[943] The Sarmatians[944] possessing no iron, headed their darts and javelins with bone, and employed very extraordinary materials in the manufacture of their cuirasses. Collecting carefully all the hoofs of such horses as died, they cut them into laminæ, resembling in form the scales of a fish. These they sewed together with the nerves of horses or oxen, and thus produced a species of breastplate which for elegance and utility was scarcely inferior to those of the Greeks. In the manufacture of linen corslets[945] the Egyptians displayed peculiar excellence, at least the description of one of them which history has preserved is calculated to create a very high idea of their ingenuity. It was curiously wrought, we are told, with fine bobbins, each composed of three hundred and sixty threads, distinctly visible, adorned with numerous figures of animals interwoven with cotton and gold.[946] Among the Greeks this piece of armour was often richly embroidered by the ladies of the warrior’s family, whom, on more than one occasion, we find busy at this task on the eve of battle. The cuirasses of brass or steel were finely polished and buttoned under the arm. Even the horses were furnished with breastplates and frontlets,[947] and occasionally their flanks also were protected by armour. The 165warrior’s greaves[948] were manufactured of copper, brass, tin, or other metal, and fastened about the legs with silver buttons. Archers seem commonly to have worn a species of gloves or fingerlings.[949]

The manufacture of shields[950] underwent great fluctuations at different periods of Grecian history, and even in the same age there existed numerous and extraordinary differences in their materials, form, and structure. In early times they consisted simply of a piece of circular basket-work, plaited for the sake of lightness with vine-branches[951] or willows; or were made of a solid piece of wood scooped into the proper form, and covered with one or more coats of leather. The wood usually preferred for this use was that of the elder, the beach, the poplar, and the fig; and the leather was generally tough bull-hide,[952] with or without the hair, though we read of nations, as the Ethiopians, who made use for this purpose of the skins of cranes.[953] The same people at the present day have discovered that the hide of the crocodile, dressed with the scales on, forms a better integument for their bucklers. Among the Homeric heroes the wooden framework was protected by many folds of leather, amounting sometimes to seven, to which were added plates of brass, silver, gold, or tin. Even when the face of the shield was composed of some inferior metal, the rim seems frequently to have been of gold.

In later times shields were usually manufactured of brass or steel, wrought and fashioned with the greatest care, and polished like a mirror. Occasionally, likewise, they were inlaid with purple, ivory, and gold,[954] or painted white, or crusted with gold and silver, as among the Samnites.[955] From the remotest 166antiquity, moreover, it was customary to paint upon shields a number of devices, each warrior selecting one for himself,[956] which, like the armorial bearings of the knights of chivalry, distinguished him from his comrades in battle. Thus Perseus chose the head of the Gorgon Medusa;[957] Tydeus the aspect of the face of the mighty heavens, including the full moon, surrounded by flaming stars;[958] Eteocles bore before him the figure of a warrior scaling a lofty tower, while Hippomedon selected, as the emblem of his character, the figure of Typhœos breathing forth fire and smoke. Every reader will remember the varied imagery that crowded the shield of the Homeric Achilles, together with the scenes which Hesiod, in imitation, depicts on the buckler of Heracles. In the historical period[959] the people of Sicyon had a sigma, the initial letter in the name of their capital, painted on their shields.[960] These ornaments, as well as the handles, it is said, owed their origin to the invention of the Carians. The form of the shield exhibited much variety. One kind, for example, was small and circular,[961] another oblong or parallelogrammatic, and of dimensions so large as to cover the whole body, and allow the fallen warrior to be borne home on it as upon a bier; others were rhomboidal,[962] or semilunar, or shaped like an ivy-leaf. But whatever may have been their figure, there always projected from the centre of the external face a large boss, with a smaller one, generally pointed, on the middle of it. This the soldiers dashed in the countenances of the enemy. Within, 167two bars, stretching from rim to rim, and crossing each other like the letter X, gave the warrior, who passed his left arm behind them, greater power over his defence, while a smaller handle, on the fore part of the shield, received his grasp.[963] Occasionally, the place of these bars was supplied by metallic or wooden handles, exactly of a size to receive the arm; and, by means of a leathern strap, the buckler, when marching, was usually suspended on the shoulder.[964] In time of peace both the shield and the helmet were laid up, each in its appropriate case.[965] Besides the manufacturers of arms, who supplied states with large orders, there were numerous armourers on a smaller scale,[966] whose shops exhibited a rich and varied assortment of shields, helmets, and every kind of weapon.

The metals employed in the fabrication of arms were obtained partly from mines found in Greece itself, partly by commerce from the surrounding countries.[967] On the methods of mining which prevailed among the Greeks our information is peculiarly scanty. We know, however, that, at Laurion,[968] the Athenians made use of both shafts and adits, and that in chambering they employed much timber.[969] To prevent the falling in of the superincumbent mountain there were left at intervals vast pillars,[970] the cutting away of which was by law prohibited on pain of death. In the potter’s-clay mines 168of Samos, where the veins, running generally between beds of rock, were exceedingly shallow, seldom exceeding two feet in depth, the miners, as in the thin veins of our own coal mines, were compelled while at work to lie on their back or sides, which, it may be presumed, was the practice in other mines under similar circumstances. Whether they possessed any means of protecting themselves against the fire-damps or malaria,[971] which, we know, prevailed greatly at Laurion,[972] is a matter of much uncertainty. In Spain, the mines ran deep into the earth, and were of prodigious extent, having transverse passages and caverns of great dimensions and elevation.

In an old shaft discovered in the mountains of Santo Spirito,[973] the sides were supported by masonry; large pools of water were found in some of the chambers, while the explorers could hear afar off the incessant roar of waterfalls. Here and there the passages were nearly blocked up by masses of gold and silver ore.[974]

How the water was drained off, or the ore brought to the surface of the earth, no ancient author has explained. When extracted, however, it was pounded in a stone mortar with an iron pestle, then passed through a sieve, and transferred to the smelting furnace.[975]

The account transmitted to us of the gold mines of Egypt may probably throw some light on the practice which prevailed among the Greeks. In them we find an almost exact type of the degrading toil and disregard of danger and decency recently brought to light among our own subterranean 169population. There, indeed, the workmen were forced to their task by the direct compulsion of a tyrannical government; while in Great Britain the constraint is enveloped by a cloud of circumstances which conceal, though they scarcely soften, the stern laws of necessity.

The Egyptian gold mines were situated in the great eastern desert, on the shores of the Red Sea. They had been worked from the remotest antiquity; in proof of which it is related, that copper pickaxes were frequently found in the deserted shafts and galleries, beside incredible heaps of human bones, relics of the multitudes who had perished there by malaria, or fire-damps, or the falling of rocks, or more probably from the incessant oppression to which they were subjected.[976] In fact the benevolent historian,[977] to whom we are indebted for nearly all we know on this curious subject, felt so strongly for the sufferings of these wretched artificers of Egyptian grandeur, that he pronounced death in their case to be more desirable than life.[978] But the most miserable possess resources and springs of gratification unknown to philosophers and the professors of literature; and, we may be sure, that even those outcasts who brought up gold from the bowels of the earth to adorn the thrones and palaces of the Pharaohs, knew how to extract from their bitter employment some few sweets of sufficient efficacy to render life endurable.

No doubt the processes of those early times were sufficiently rude. When about to open a new shaft 170or adit the Inspectors of the mines appear carefully to have examined the different faces of the mountain, sombre, scarped, and barren to the last degree; and having fixed upon a spot in the face of some cliff, the first operation was to render the rock friable by the application of powerful fires, which were kindled with wood at its base. The more robust of the workmen then proceeded with their pickaxes to the excavation of the galleries, which seldom or never proceeded in a right line; but following the direction of the metallic veins, mounted, descended, branched off obliquely to the left or to the right; and progressing in this manner, sometimes perforated the whole bulk of the mountain, and striking downwards, like the roots of trees, extended even to the sea.[979] The men employed in getting the ore, followed incessantly by task-masters with instruments of chastisement in their hands, were seldom permitted to proportion their exertions to their strength; but often toiled on apparently till they dropped, when their bones joined the heaps of those who had fallen before them. While thus engaged, more especially when united in great numbers they had clambered the rocks to a considerable height, they presented an extraordinary spectacle; for each miner[980] carried a lamp bound to his forehead, though how, when they bent or kneeled, or worked sideways, it 171escaped being extinguished seems difficult of explanation.

The laborious operation of collecting and hurrying the ore was performed by boys of tender age, who deposited it beyond the mouth of the shaft. Another class of workmen, consisting chiefly of the aged and the infirm, now bore the metalliferous stones to that part of the works where the founders were stationed. These were powerful and robust men in the flower of their age, who, with large stone mortars and iron pestles, reduced, under the eye of rigid Inspectors, the ore to small fragments not exceeding a vetch in size.[981] This done, it was transferred to the mills which were turned by women, the wives and daughters of the miners, who, with the exception of a slender covering about the waist, were entirely naked, misery in all times and places rendering people contemptuous of appearances and indifferent to morality.[982] These mills, heavy no doubt and difficult to work, were turned by six women, three on either side. They would appear, however, to have answered well the purpose for which they were designed, since the ore, we are told, was reduced by them to the fineness of flour; after which it was handed over to the Selangeus, the last link in that long chain of operators which connected the mine with the smelting furnace. The business of the Selangeus consisted in separating the metal from the matrix in which it had been produced. For this purpose, the auriferous dust was cast in a heap upon a broad polished board slightly inclined,[983] and there washed and triturated until the greater part of the terrene particles had been, by soft sponges 172and water, separated from the gold, which was next put into earthen vessels with small quantities of lead, tin, salt, and barley-bran, and placed in the smelting furnace, where it was subjected, for five days and nights, to the flames. This done, the virgin gold came forth glittering and pure as if it had not been wrung from human agony or sullied by human tears.

In the smelting furnaces of Greece, notwithstanding the doubts of Reitemeier, which Bœckh is contented to combat with mere inferences,[984] it is quite certain that charcoal was used,[985]—in the first smelting, that of the aria, the arbutus, and the oak, of which the last was least esteemed; and in the second, that of the pitch-pine. In the iron mines the charcoal of the Eubœan walnut-tree was preferred for second smelting.

This leads us to speak of the preparation of charcoal, which was effected in the following manner:—having excavated a circular cavity in the earth, they pitched or paved it at bottom, and piling up to a great height the billets of wood, which were selected for their straightness in order that they might lie as close as possible, covered over the whole with earth and turf, so as to form a circular mound, like a barrow. The heap was then set on fire, and the covering pierced on all sides with spits, to provide a vent for the smoke. The fire having been kept burning for the proper time, which is not stated, the charcoal was removed and laid by for use.[986] Extensive works of this kind were established at the borough of Acharnè, in Attica, which was supplied 173with wood, chiefly the scarlet oak, from the forests on Mount Parnes.[987]

Much stress was laid by Hellenic artificers on the materials from which the charcoal was manufactured: thus smiths, braziers, and other handicraftsmen preferred that of the pitch-pine to what was made from the oak, because it exhibited a greater tractability to the bellows, keeping up a more enduring flame, and being less liable to sudden extinction, though inferior in force. Generally, in fact, all dry woods furnish a brisker and a brighter flame. Twigs and small branches, as the Greek philosophers had observed, yield, while burning, the fiercest heat; but it was supposed that they were too deficient in body to be profitably converted into charcoal. In France, however, and other parts of the Continent, we find twigs no bigger than goose-quills used for this purpose. Some kinds of wood, it was observed, produce in burning a far greater quantity of smoke than others.[988] Of these are all such as delight in humid situations, as the platane and the willow, with the black and white poplar. The vine,[989] too, while moist, stands in the same category, though it yield the palm to the date-palm, which enjoyed among the ancients the reputation of being the smokiest tree that grows.[990] In sharpness, however, the smoke of the fig-tree was supposed to excel, together with that of the wild fig-tree,[991] and generally all such natives of the forest as abound in a milky juice. Nevertheless, having been barked, steeped in running-water, and dried again,[992] these same kinds of wood were freer than all others from 174smoke, and yielded the softest and purest flame.[993] The same thing is remarked of wood which had been washed with the lees of oil.[994]

In Egypt, where charcoal is at present procured chiefly from the wood of the acacia, and supplied in most cases from the Desert, it was anciently prepared, especially for the use of smiths, from the long, tough, triangular roots of the sari,[995] (Cyperus fastigiatus,) which resembled those of the papyrus, likewise burnt for fuel.[996] The smiths of Hellas,[997] however, were not reduced to depend entirely upon charcoal, since both in Liguria and Elis, on the road, it has been conjectured, leading over Mount Pholoë to Olympia,[998] pits had been opened whence the forges were supplied with fossil coal.

We may here observe, by the way, that the ancients, instead of flint and steel, or lucifer matches, made use, in kindling a fire, of a curious apparatus 175still employed in the East:[999] it consisted of two parts, the one hollowed out like a diminutive mortar, the other resembling a pestle, which was inserted into it, and turned round with extreme velocity until sparks were produced. This necessary piece of furniture[1000] was most commonly manufactured of ivy, or laurel, or clematis, and was something of the rhamnus ilex, or linden-tree; in short, of nearly all trees, except the olive. Generally, however, it was thought best to make the two parts of the instrument of different kinds of wood. It was observed that, with these contrivances, fire kindled more readily during the prevalence of the north than the south wind, and on high places than in hollows. At Rome the vestal virgins originated the sacred fire by means of a kind of mirror, and the power of burning-glasses was not unknown.[1001] Nay, things resembling our lucifer matches were possessed by certain jugglers, though they do not appear to have passed into general use, either because the inventors refused to divulge their secret, or from the natural slowness of mankind to profit by useful discoveries.[1002]

863. Cf. Il. ξ. 48. Magii, Var. Lect. p. 130. 1.

864. The hardness, however, would appear to have been produced partly by the interfusion of different metals, partly by the liquid in which the implements were quenched. Ulloa, Mémoires Philosophiques, &c., t. ii. p. 90. 94. Observations, p. 468. Cf. Voyages, t. i. p. 384.

865. Plut. Philop. § 8.

866. Thucyd. v. 47.

867. It is related of the bronze palm-tree at Delphi with fruit of gold, that the dates were imitated so exactly, that they were pecked at and destroyed by the crows: Ἐν δὲ Δελφοῖς Παλλάδιον ἕστηκε χρυσοῦν, ἐπὶ φοίνικος χαλκοῦ βεβηκὸς, ἀνάθημα τῆς πόλεως ἀπὸ τῶν Μηδικῶν ἀριστείων. Τοῦτ᾽ ἔκοπτον ἐφ’ ἡμέρας πολλὰς προσπετόμενοι κόρακες, καὶ τὸν καρπὸν ὄντα χρυσοῦν τοῦ φοίνικος ἀπέτρωγον καὶ κατέβαλλον. Plut. Nic. § 8.

868. Herod. i. 48. iv. 81. 70. The extraordinary forms sometimes assumed by these vases are in part mentioned by Pollux, who, in describing the προσωποῦττα says, it was a vessel expanding above into the mouth of an ox, or the jaws of a lion. Onomast. ii. 48. In the Royal Prussian Museum there is found a vase, the mouth of which represents that of a griffin. Racolta de’ Monumenti più Interressanti del Real Museo Borbonico, e di varie Collezioni private, Publicati da Raffaele Gargiulo, Napoli, 1825, No. 113. See in the same collection a variety of other vases representing the faces of Hermes, the heads of dragons, hippogriffs, wild boars, &c. No. 75, sqq.

869. Herod. ix. 70. v. 49.

870. Il. σ. 565. φ. 592. ψ. 561.

871. Beckmann, History of Inventions, iv. 13.

872. Palæphat. Fragm. ap. Gal. Opusc. Mythol. &c. p. 64, sqq.

873. Il. δ. 487.

874. Odyss. ι. 391.

875. Tenuiora ferramenta oleo restingui mos est, ne aqua in fragilitatem durentur. Plin. xxxiv. 41.

876. Plut. Lycurgus, § 9.

877. Justin. xliv. 4. Plin. vi. 4. 34. vii. 57. viii. 82.

878. Diodor. Sicul. v. 33. Suid. v. μάχαιρα. t. ii. p. 108. c.

879. Aristot. de Mirab. t. xvi. p. 187. Meteorol. iv. 6. p. 119, seq.

880. Καθάπερ γὰρ οἱ Κελτίβηρες ἐκ τοῦ σιδήρου τὸ στόμωμα ποιοῦσιν, ὅταν κατορύξαντες εἰς τὴν γὴν τὸ πολὺ καὶ τὸ γεῶδες ἀποκαθᾴρωσιν, οὕτως ὁ Λακωνικὸς λόγος οὐκ ἔχει φλοιὸν, ἀλλ’ εἰς αὐτὸ τὸ δραστήριον ἀφαιρέσει τοῦ περιττοῦ διωκόμενος στομοῦται. De Garrulitat. § 17.

881. Plin. xxxiv. 41.

882. Vit. de Pitt. Pref. p. 12. Winkel. Hist. de l’Art, ii. 78.

883. Winkelm. Hist. de l’Art, t. i. p. 176, sqq.

884. Plin. xxxiv. 41.

885. Eustath. ad Il. β. p. 222. Cf. Herod. vii. 61. i. 164. Sch. Aristoph. Pac. 620. Nub. 179.

886. Eustath. ad Il. β. p. 222. 28, sqq. Steph. de Urb. v. Λακεδαίμων. p. 505, c. seq.

887. Cf. Sch. Aristoph. Vesp. 155. 200, seq. Poll. i. 77. Eurip. Orest. 1577. Æsch. Sept. 378. Schol. Thucyd. l. ii. t. v. p. 371. Iliad. δ. 132. μ. 121.

888. Herod. i. 68. Athen. iii. 71. xiv. 57. Sch. Aristoph. Ach. 853. Poll. x. 45.

889. Polit. i. 1.

890. Schol. Aristoph. Lysist. 231.

891. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 3. 3.

892. Poll. ii. 37.

893. See an elegant representation of a columnar anvil which we may infer was used by armourers. Gemme Antiche, Figurate di Leonardo Agostini, pt. ii. tav. 36.

894. Goguet. i. 165.

895. Thus, speaking of the Alani, Ammianus Marcellinus relates: Nec templum apud eos visitur, aut delubrum ne tugurium quidem culmo tectum cerni usquam potest: sed gladius barbarico ritu humi figitur nudus, eúmque ut Martem, regionum quas circumcircant præsulem verecundiùs colunt. l. xxxi. c. 2. p. 673. Ed. Gronov. 1693. Pomp. Mel. ii. 1. In Justin too, we find relics of the worship paid of old to arms: Ab origine rerum, pro diis immortalibus veteres hastas coluêre. xliii. 3. At Chæronea in Bœotia there subsisted, down to very late times, the worship of a sceptre on which they bestowed the name of the Spear. Θεῶν δὲ μάλιστα Χαιρωνεῖς τιμῶσι τὸ σκῆπτρον ὃ ποιῆσαι Διί φησιν Ὅμηρος Ἥφαιστον, παρὰ δὲ Διὸς λαβόντα Ἑρμῆν δοῦναι Πέλοπι, Πέλοπα δὲ Ἀτρεί καταλιπεῖν, τὸν δὲ Ἀτρεά Θυέστῃ, παρὰ Θυέστου δὲ ἔχειν Ἀγαμέμνονα· τοῦτο οὖν τὸ σκῆπτρον σέβουσι, δόρυ ὀνομάζοντες. Pausan. ix. 40. 11.

896. Plut. Thes. § 36. The practice of burying weapons with the dead prevailed also down to a very late period among the Romans; for in a stone coffin of Imperial times recently discovered at Héronval in Normandy, a sword was found by the warrior’s side, together with a stylus, a buckler, rings, and other ornaments. Times, June 17, 1842.

897. Pollux makes mention of the Celtic broadsword. i. 149.

898. Winkel. Hist. del’ Art. i. 34.

899. Diog. Laert. vi. 2. 65.

900. Poll. x. 141. 144. Damm. Lexicon, 395.

901. Eustath. ad Odyss. δ. 150. 16.

902. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 3. 2.

903. On the production of the gall-nut, see Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 5. 2, and Cf. Valmont de Bomare Dict. d’Hist. Nat. t. iii. p. 8.

904. Demosth. in Aphob. § 4. 8.

905. Plat. Gorg. t. iii. p. 50.

906. Poll. i. 143.

907. Spearheads were sometimes poisoned with the juice of the dorycnion. Plin. xxi. 81.

908. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 11. 13. Plut. Lysand. § 28. Dioscor. i. 94.

909. Poll. i. 136. x. 143.

910. Sibthorp. Flora Græca, tab. 4.

911. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 12. 1, seq.

912. Poll. i. 136. x. 143.

913. Herod. vii. 69.

914. On the Scythian bow, see Plat. de Legg. t. viii. p. 15; on the Cretan, Poll. i. 45. 149; on arrows, Athen. x. 18.

915. Poll. i. 244. Herod. vii. 64, 65. 69.

916. Herod. vii. 61. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 11. 11. Dioscor. i. 114. The Parthian kings, we are told, addicted themselves with pride to the forging and sharpening of arrow-heads: it may be presumed, because the bow was the national weapon of their country. Plut. Demet. § 20. The arrow-heads of the Indians were of unusually large dimensions. Plut. Alexand. § 63. That the arrow-heads of the ancient Scythians were of bronze appears from the following relation of Herodotus. Ariantas, a king of Scythia, desirous of ascertaining the number of his subjects, commanded them, on pain of death, to bring him each an arrow-head. His people obeyed the order; and when he had satisfied himself respecting their number, he ordered a huge vessel to be cast with the bronze, which, in the age of the Father of History, still existed at a place called Exampæos, between the Borysthenes and the Hypanis. It was six inches thick, and contained six hundred amphoræ. iv. 81.

917. Herod. vii. 69.

918. Phot. Bib. 445. 21. Poll. i. 138.

919. Poll. i. 42.

920. Id. i. 149. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 181.

921. Poll. ii. 30. Herod. vii. 85.

922. Herod. ix. 21. i. 15.

923. Id. i. 215.

924. On one occasion we find the magistrates of Thessaly coming forth with panoply of gold to meet the ashes of Pelopidas. Ἐκ δὲ τῶν πόλεων, ὡς ἀπηγγέλθη ταῦτα, παρῆσαν αἵ τ᾽ ἀρχαι, καὶ μετ᾽ αὐτῶν ἔφηβοι καὶ παῖδες καὶ ἱερεῖς, πρὸς τὴν ὑποδοκὴν τοῦ σώματος, τρόπαια καὶ στεφάνους καὶ πανοπλίας χρυσᾶς ἐπιφέροντες. Plut. Pelopid. § 33.

925. Plut. Demet. § 21.

926. Poll. i. 148, seq. Herod. i. 171. Gitone, Il Costume, tav. 40. Feith, Antiquitat. Homer. iv. 8. p. 316, seq.

927. Goguet, Orig. des Loix, iv. 322.

928. Herod. vii. 75.

929. Plut. Alex. 32.

930. Herod. vii. 84.

931. Plut. Alex. § 32.

932. Cf. Poll. i. 135. Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 1188. 389. Plut. Alexand. § 16. The close helmets, without crests, were sometimes ornamented with feathers, much after the Indian fashion. Gitone, Il Costume, tav. 42.

933. Plin. Nat. Hist. x. 1. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 4. 5.

934. Plut. Pyrrh. § 11.

935. Herod. vii. 76.

936. Brunck. not. in Aristoph. Acharn. 439.

937. Herod. vii. 77. 79. 89.

938. Id. vii. 70.

939. Poll. i. 148, seq.

940. Cf. Herod. vii. 89.

941. Paus. i. 21. 7. vi. 19. 7.

942. Cf. Paus. ix. 26. 8.

943. Etym. Mag. 288. 48.

944. Paus. i. 21. 6.

945. Cf. Herod. ii. 182.

946. Herod. iii. 47. Plin. xix. 1. Ælian. Hist. An. ix. 17. Plut. Alex. § 32.

947. Poll. ii. 162. 167.

948. Gitone, Il Costume, tav. 38, where we find representations of battle-axes, quivers, bows, swords, etc.

949. Constant. Lexic. v. χειρίδες.

950. Poll. i. 148, seq.

951. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 3. 4. v. 7. 7. Thucyd. iv. 9.

952. Herod. vii. 79.

953. Id. vii. 70.

954. Poll. i. 134.

955. Winkel. Hist. de l’Art, i. 276.

956. Sch. Aristoph. Acharn. 548.

957. Epaminondas had a dragon on his shield as a device. Pausan. viii. 11. 8.

958. Sept. Cont. Theb. 367. 447. 471.

959. The device of Demosthenes was, “To Good Fortune.” Plut. Demosth. § 20.

960. Xenoph. Hellen. iv. 4. 10. It has been conjectured, that the Arcadian allies of Epaminondas painted the letter Θ on their shields, that they might appear to be transformed into Thebans. Schneid. ad Xen. Hellen. vii. 5. 20. The Lacedæmonians painted the letter Λ on their shields. Meurs. Miscell. Lacon. i. 18.

961. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 18.

962. Petit. de Amazon. xxv. 169.

963. Cf. Sch. Aristoph. Pac. 645. Acharn. 1087. From certain ancient monuments it appears, that a small thin cushion ran along behind the arm on the interior of the shield. Giton. Il Costume, tav. 39. Cf. Zoëga, Bassi Rilievi, tav. 47, for the figure of Capaneus advancing his shield as if in combat.

964. Sch. Aristoph. Eq. 846. 855.

965. Sch. Aristoph. Acharn. 548.

966. Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 439.

967. Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxiii. 21. Herod. v. 17. vi. 46. vii. 112. Thucyd. i. 101. Plut. Cim. § 14.

968. On the price of mining shares, Dem. adv. Pantæn. § 6. Schol. Eq. 1089.

969. Cf. Petit, Legg. Att. vii. 12. p. 543.

970. Μεσοκρινεῖς κίονες, οἱ ἐν τοῖς μετάλλοις ὑφεστηκότες ἀνέχειν τὰ ὀρύγματα. Poll. vii. 98.

971. Theoph. de Lapid. § 52.

972. Λέγεται βαρὺ τὸ χωρίον εἶναι. Xenoph. Memor. iii. 6. 12.

973. The mountain districts of Spain, in which the mines were situated, are described by Pliny to be so utterly barren, that they produce nothing but ore. Nat. Hist. xxxiii. 21.

974. “Times,” March 24, 1841.

975. Vitruv. vii. 7. Demosth. in Pantænet. § 6. Harpocrat. v. κεγκρεὼν. Suid. t. i. p. 1428. a.

976. The same excessive waste of human life has been observable in all countries where mines have been worked on a large scale: “Juan Gonzales de Alzevedo assuroit en 1609, que le nombre des indigènes étoit diminué de moitié dans les environs des mines du Pérou, et d’un tiers en d’autres endroits, depuis 1581.” Schneider, Observations sur Ulloa, t. ii. p. 264.

977. Agatharchid. ap. Phot. Biblioth. Cod. 250. p. 447. a. sqq.

978. Οὗτοι πάντες οἱ τὸν εἰρημένον τῆς τύχης κλῆρον ὑπελθόντες ποθεινότερον ἔχουσι τοῦ βίου τὸν θάνατον. Id. p. 448. a. 38.

979. Similar excavations in the mountain of Potosi are thus described by Don Antonio d’Ulloa: “Le mont du Potosi doit être considéré comme l’intérieur d’ une ruche à miel, vu le nombre des percemens, des galeries, des fouilles qu’on y remarque. C’est ce qu’on se figurera facilement, en se répresentant la quantité prodigieuse de matières qu’on a tirées de son intérieur, pour obtener les minérais qui s’y trouvent répandus partout, et desquels on extrait l’argent. S’il étoit donc possible de le découvrir totalement de sa croûte externe, on y appercevroit un nombre infini de routes souterreines percées sans suite, et comme au hasard, selon la direction des veines métalliques.” Mémoires Philosophiques, t. i. p. 289.

980. Οὗτοι μὲν οὖν λύχνους προσδεδεμένους τοῖς μετώποις ἔχοντες λατομοῦσιν, ἀκολουθοῦντες οἷον φλεβὶ τῷ λευκανθίζοντι. Phot. Bib. p. 448. a.

981. Cf. Diod. Sicul. iii. 13.

982. Οὗτος δὲ ἐστιν ὁ πόνος τῶν γυναικῶν τῶν εἰς τὰς φυλακὰς συναπηγμένων ἀνδράσιν ἢ γονεῦσι. Μύλοι γὰρ ἑξῆς πλείους βεβήκασιν, ἐφ᾽ οὒς τὸν ἐπτισμένον ἐπιβάλλουσι λίθον· καὶ παραστᾶσαι τρεῖς ἑκατέρωθεν πρὸς τὴν μίαν κώπην, οὕτως ἐζωσμέναι δυσπροσόπτως ὥστε μόνον τὴν αἰσχύνην τοῦ σώματος κρύπτειν, ἀλήθουσιν. Phot. Bib. p. 448. a.

983. Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxiii. 21.

984. “That the Athenians made use of the bellows and of charcoal is not improbable; the latter, indeed, may be fairly inferred from the account of the charcoal-sellers, or rather charcoal-burners, from which business a large portion of the Acharnians in particular obtained their livelihood.” Dissertation on the Mines of Laurion. Pub. Econ., &c. t. ii. p. 443.

985. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 9. 1, sqq.

986. Id. v. 9. 5. ix. 3. 1.

987. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 302, 587. Diog. Laert. i. 8. 5.

988. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 9. 5.

989. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 326. Lysist. 308. The Haliphloios, a species of oak, was supposed by the ancients to be peculiarly obnoxious to lightning, on which account the Æolians never used its wood in sacrifice. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 8. 52. 5. Cf. v. 1. 2.

990. Τοῦ τε δυσκαπνοτάτου φοίνικος ἐκ γῆς ῥιζοφοιτήτους φλέβας. Chæremon, ap. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 9. 5.

991. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 145. Plut. Sympos. v. 9.

992. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 9. 5.

993. Among the uses of charcoal was that of being rammed down under the foundations of temples, as in that of Artemis at Ephesos: Rursus ne in lubrico atque instabili fundamenta tantæ molis locarentur, calcatis ea substravere carbonibus dein velleribus lanæ. Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxvi. 21. On the incorruptibility of charcoal, St. Augustin, who loved to declaim a little, thus writes:—“Quid? in carbonibus nonne miranda est, et tanta infirmitas, ut ictu levissimo frangantur, pressu facillime conterantur: et tanta firmitas ut nullo humore corrumpantur, nulla ætate vincantur, usque adeo ut eos substernere soleant.... Quis eos in terra humida effossos, ubi ligna putrescerent, tamdiu durare incorruptibilior posse, nisi rerum ille corruptor ignis effecit?” De Civitat. Dei, xxxi. 4. The charcoal was thus employed by the advice of Theodoros, the son of Rhæcos, the Samian. Οὗτος ἐστιν ὁ συμβουλεύσας ἄνθρακας ὑποτεθῆναι τοῖς θεμελίοις τοῦ ἐν Ἐφέσω νεώ. Καθύγρου γὰρ ὄντος τοῦ τόπου, τοὺς ἄνθρακας ἔφη, τὸ ξυλῶδες ἀποβαλόντας, αὐτὸ τὸ στερεὸν ἀπαθὲς ἔχειν ὕδατι. Diog. Laert. ii. 8. § 19.

994. Plin. Nat. Hist. xv. 8. Cf. Martial. xiii. 15.

995. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 8. 5.

996. Id. Hist. Plant. iv. 8. 4. Dioscor. i. 115.

997. Οὓς δὲ καλοῦσιν εὐθὺς ἄνθρακας τῶν θρυπτομένων διὰ τὴν χρείαν, εἰσὶ γεώδεις· ἐκκαίονται δὲ καὶ πυροῦνται καθάπερ οἱ ἄνθρακες. Εἰσὶ δὲ περί τε τὴν Λιγυστικὴν, ὅπου καὶ τὸ ἤλεκτρον, καὶ ἐν τῇ Ἠλεία βαδιζόντων Ὀλυμπίαζε τὴν δι’ ὄρους, οἷς καὶ οἱ χαλκεῖς χρῶνται. Theoph. de Lapid. § 16.

998. Annot. ad Theoph. iv. 552. Xen. Anab. v. 3. 10. Strab. viii. p. 145. Sieb.

999. Plat. de Repub. t. vi. p. 194.

1000. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 9. 4, sqq.

1001. Aristoph. Nub. 758. Cf. Orph. Lith. 171. p. 111.

1002. Athen. i. 35.



Another flourishing branch of industry was that of quarrying stones for building, carried on wherever marble, or freestone, or tufa, or granite, was found.[1003] The stones were usually fashioned by the axe, or saw,[1004] in the quarry, and drawn thence by ropes. In many cases, however, as where cheapness or despatch was aimed at, bricks were substituted,[1005] made, in addition to the materials at present employed, from powdered tufa.[1006]

In the preparation of mortar and cement the Greeks exhibited extraordinary ingenuity.[1007] They made use, in the first place, of lime procured by burning coarse marble in the ordinary way, or, secondly, 177obtained from sea-shells, or stones picked up on the banks of rivers. A superior kind of cement was made from those stones used in the manufacture of gypsum, which was so firm and durable, that it was frequently found to outlast the materials which it had been employed to unite. It was prepared by being reduced to powder, and mixed with water, and afterwards well stirred with a piece of wood, since it was too hot to admit of the hands being used. When removed from old walls it might be burnt and prepared a second and a third time, as originally from the stone.[1008] This, in Syria and Phœnicia, was used in facing the walls of houses, and in Italy for whitening them, as well as in the making of various mouldings and ornaments within.[1009]

Frequently, also, it appears to have been employed like plaster of Paris in the casting of statues, as was that composed of powdered marble, in repairing such as by accident had been broken. An example of this was observed in the cheek of a sphynx dug up in the island of Capri.[1010] Instead of water, however, a tough glue, composed of the hides and horns of bulls, was employed in mixing it.[1011]

In the roofing of houses pantiles were commonly made use of;[1012] instead of which, as they were fragile and easily broken by hailstones, tiles of Pentelic marble, invented by Byzes of Naxos,[1013] were 178often substituted in the case of temples, as that for example of Zeus at Olympia. It is mentioned incidentally by Dioscorides, that physicians used to reduce acacia-wood to powder by burning it in the tile-kilns.[1014]

Respecting the business of house-painters our information is exceedingly scanty; we may infer, however, that they excelled in the imitation of woods and marbles, since they were employed in imitating on the polished surface of one stone the veins and colours characteristic of another.[1015] Some persons covered the walls of their apartments with historical subjects,[1016] or landscapes, or the figures of animals in fresco.[1017] In later ages ceilings were painted, or inlaid with coloured stones,[1018] or abaculi, so as to imitate the feathers and hues of a peacock’s tail.[1019]

Timber for house-building,[1020] the choice of which was regulated by law,[1021] abounded in most parts of Greece, though the best and straightest was obtained 179from Macedonia and Arcadia,[1022] particularly from a hollow valley near a place called Cranè, never visited by the sun, and fenced round by rocks on all sides from the winds.[1023] Very particular rules were laid down respecting the time and manner of felling trees;[1024] first, wood cut in spring was most easily barked; second, if this operation was neglected it bred worms, which furrowed its whole surface like written characters; third, such as was cut when the moon was below the horizon was thought harder and less liable to decay.[1025] It may here, perhaps, be worth observing, that stones and other substances were often found grown into the trunks of wild olive-trees. This was particularly the case with that which grew in the market-place of Megara. The oracle had foretold, that when this tree should be cut down the city would be sacked and destroyed, which was brought to pass by Demetrius. On this occasion the tree being felled and sawed into planks, greaves and other articles of Athenian workmanship were found in the heart of it.[1026] Fragments of the timber remained in the time of Theophrastus.

In cutting hard wood carpenters made use of a blunt axe,[1027] which thus became sharper, while soft wood produced the contrary effect.[1028] It was customary before timber was committed to the saw to soak it for some time in water;[1029] and it is said to 180have been rendered incombustible by a solution of alum and certain kinds of vinegar.[1030] The tools of the Greek carpenter as near as possible resembled our own; they had the saws small and great, the plane, the axe, the chisel, the square, the gimlet, the augur,[1031] the compass,[1032] and, in short, whatever else could be useful in their trade. Among the paintings of Herculaneum[1033] we find the representation of a carpenter’s workshop, where two winged genii are busily employed with the mallet and the saw. In making lines, &c., they used the ruddle now employed.[1034]

Among the kinds of timber in most general use was the silver fir, thought to be extremely durable, in illustration of which Theophrastus relates the following circumstance: it happened at Pheneos, in Arcadia,[1035] that, owing to the obstruction of the torrent-beds, the plain was converted into a lake. To traverse this they constructed bridges of fir, and when the flood rose still higher, bridge upon bridge was erected in succession. Afterwards when the waters had worked themselves a passage and ebbed off, the whole of the wood of these bridges was found in the completest preservation.[1036] The other kinds of timber were the elm, used for doors, hinges, and weasel traps;[1037] the cypress,[1038] cedar, and juniper for wainscoting, beams, and paneled ceilings; the Arcadian, and the Idæan yew,[1039] which latter was sometimes fraudulently substituted for cedar; the Eubœan walnut, and the beech, which, not being 181subject to the rot, were resorted to for piles and substructions.[1040] The former of these trees, which grew to an extraordinary size, was likewise applied to the roofing of houses, chiefly because, by a loud crackling noise, it gave notice when it was about to break, and thus afforded the inmates leisure to effect their escape. This happened at the public baths of Antandros, where the company foreseeing from this warning sound the catastrophe that was approaching, rushed forth into the streets, and thus avoided being overwhelmed beneath the ruins.[1041]

The box, the ilex, and the lotos, they employed for door-pivots, which were seasoned by being immersed in cow-dung.[1042]

Cart and wheel wrights,[1043] necessarily pretty numerous, made use in their trade of the following kinds of wood,—the scarlet oak,[1044] in countries not abounding with ilex, as Laconia and Elis, for carts, ploughs, and other rustic implements; the oxya, the fir, and the elm, for chariot-bodies;[1045] the ilex, the box, the ash, and the mast-bearing beech, for axletrees. The wood of all glutinous trees is naturally flexible, but more especially that of the mulberry and the wild fig, for which reason these, together with the platane, and the poplar, were used for making the bended rims of chariot-seats, and the circles of wheels.[1046] For spokes, the wood of the cornel tree was preferred, and that of the box, the yew, the maple, and the carpinus—hedge-beech, or hornbeam—for the yokes of oxen. In old times the bodies of carts were often formed of basket-work. It may be remarked by the way, that the Greeks understood the use of the drag-wheel.[1047]

182It has long been made a question among the learned[1048] whether the ancients were or were not acquainted with the saddle, properly so called. It may now be determined in the affirmative, since, besides the several testimonies of classical writers, which are much too clear to be set aside, we find in several Herculanean pictures exact representations of saddles, both on horses and asses, with girths and cruppers exactly as in modern times.[1049] It is evident, too, that they are constructed upon wooden frames, to which Herodotus may possibly allude where he speaks of saddles made of tanned human skins.[1050] Packsaddles for sumpter-asses are of constant occurrence in history; and that they were tolerably thick may be inferred from the fact, that numbers of daggers were concealed in them by Aratos in his attempt upon Argos.[1051] I shall here mention, also, by the way, and without entering into any discussion, that horses and asses were occasionally shod by the ancients,[1052] though the practice was doubtless not universal.

The trade of the cooper[1053] was in less general request than in modern times; his principal employment being the making of tubs, with flour and water-casks; their wine having been chiefly preserved in jars.[1054] Latterly, however, small kegs got into use, as well probably as larger casks even for wine. Pump-makers, together with the pump itself,[1055] came in late, and of fire-engines they possessed barely the first rudiments.[1056]

In speaking elsewhere of the household furniture of the Greeks we necessarily anticipated much of what was to be said respecting cabinet-makers and 183upholsterers. Some few particulars, however, omitted in that place, shall be here introduced. With respect to the price of furniture at Athens,[1057] it seems much better to be silent than by a few imperfect conjectures to confine the mind of the reader. We know absolutely nothing of the matter.

Among the Egyptians, the roots of the Persea,[1058] a beautiful fruit-tree, said to have been poisonous in Persia,[1059] furnished the materials not only of statues but of bedsteads and tables, which were of a rich dark colour and received a fine polish.[1060] There was likewise, in Syria, a species of wood the blackness of which was interveined with ruddy streaks, so that it looked like variegated ebony. From this were manufactured bedsteads, chairs, and other expensive articles of furniture.[1061] The maple-tree grows both on plains and mountains. In the latter situation its wood is of a pleasant reddish colour, finely veined and solid,[1062] on which account it was much used in superior cabinet-work. The zygian maple, in general beautifully clouded, was so hard, that it required to be steeped in water before it could be wrought.[1063] Of all woods the ancients considered that of the 184cypress[1064] the most durable, and it is related in confirmation of this opinion, that the doors of the temple of Artemis at Ephesos, which were made of it, had already lasted four centuries in the time of Theophrastus.[1065] It took the finest polish, and was therefore employed in costly cabinet-work. The wood of the tree called thuia (a species perhaps of wild cypress), abounding in Cyrenè, and the Oasis of Jupiter Ammon,[1066] was thought to be incorruptible; and from its roots, which were beautifully clouded, the most delicate articles of furniture were manufactured. Next to these the wood of the mulberry-tree was preferred, which exhibited a dusky grain like that of the lotos.[1067] Expensive bedsteads were sometimes made of oxya and citron-wood, the feet of which, among the Persians, were often turned from the wood of the doom-palm,[1068] as they were formed among the Greeks from amber.[1069] Statues,[1070] which ought in truth to be regarded as articles of furniture, were carved from cedar, cypress,[1071] lotos, box, and of a smaller size from the roots of olive-trees, because they did not crack.[1072] Besides these which were perhaps the more common, we find mention in ancient writers of images of ebony, oak, yew, maple, beech, palm,[1073] myrtle, pear, linden, and vine, to which may be added the fig-tree which was frequently preferred on account of its soft texture, 185lightness, shining whiteness, and close-grain. Occasionally statues of horses were carved of ebony and ivory. As during the prevalence of certain winds several of these kinds of woods were liable to sweat,[1074] the vulgar, who understood nothing of the cause, regarded the circumstance as a prodigy.[1075]

From the knotted wood of the fir-tree, tablets for painting or writing on were made, the inferior kinds of which were very common; but there was a superior and very beautiful sort used only by the opulent.[1076]

Another piece of furniture in all Greek houses was the chest or coffer[1077] in which money and plate, or costly garments, were deposited. Articles of this description were frequently manufactured of the finest and most aromatic woods, as cedar for example, and adorned on all sides, as well as on the cover, with numerous figures in relief, sometimes in gold or ivory, as in the case of the celebrated coffer of Cypselos preserved in the treasury at Olympia.[1078] Generally, however, they were made of humbler materials; sometimes veneered with thin planks of yew, which took a high polish. Persons of inferior means substituted for these, mallequins of fine basket-work, or plaited from the bark of cherry or linden-tree.[1079] We may here remark by the way, that bread-baskets were manufactured from willows and the twigs of chestnut-trees,[1080] cleanly peeled, 186and that in Egypt articles of this description were generally woven or plaited from the leaves of the date and doom-palm, and probably variegated in colour as they are at present. At the court, however, bread-baskets were at one period of gold, but fashioned so as to resemble the rush-baskets in use among the earlier Greeks.[1081]

Lanterns, too, in the first instance, were of basketwork,[1082] though afterwards manufactured, as in modern times, with thin plates of horn or ivory.[1083]

In some parts of Greece when individuals, not possessing costly furniture, desired to give a grand entertainment, they hired whatever articles they stood in need of, as seats, beds, vases, &c., of a broker, whose business, in the island of Samos, was once carried on by the tyrant Polycrates.[1084]

As ivory entered largely into the making of furniture among the ancients,[1085] the reader will not regret to find here an explanation of the means by which it was rendered soft and tractable. This secret appears hitherto to have escaped the modern writers on Art. Monsieur Dutens[1086] and the Milanese editors of Winkelmann[1087] observe, that the ancients possessed the art of softening ivory without, however, giving any intimation that they understood in what the secret consisted. But the whole matter was extremely simple, since they merely steeped the piece of ivory about to be worked in a fermented liquor, called zythos,[1088] prepared from barley, and drank commonly, 187with or without a mixture of honey, by all persons in Gaul. Many of these ivory ornaments were produced by the turning-lathe. They turned also from the knots of the Arcadian fir large bowls of a shining black colour.[1089] There was even a kind of stone which, being soft when drawn from the quarry, was turned and cut into bowls, plates, and other articles for the table, which were susceptible of a high polish, and became hard by constant exposure to the air.[1090]

It was, probably, to the turner’s art that the Greeks owed many of those straight and elegant kinds of walkingsticks,[1091] particularly affected by the opulent, and called Persian, doubtless because the use of them came originally from Asia. Others preferred the Laconian scytale,[1092] fashioned usually from a piece of whitethorn, and philosophers, sticks of olive-wood.[1093] Rustics then, as now, were in the habit of carrying twisted and uncouth walkingstaves, bent sometimes atop, and of heavy materials. The straight light stem of the malachè,[1094] and birch, and elder,[1095] were likewise in use; while some carried sticks made from the agnus castus or the laurel, which were believed to possess the virtue of preserving those who bore them from accident or injury.[1096] The making of umbrellas or parasols, which opened and closed like 188our own,[1097] no doubt constituted a separate branch of industry. These articles, it may be observed, were manufactured with great elegance, with handles gracefully ornamented, and furnished at the periphery[1098] with numerous elongated drops. It was, probably, the same tradesmen in whose shops were found those folding-seats, or camp-stools, invented by Dædalos, the use of which seems to have been very common at Athens.[1099]

Respecting the manufacture of musical instruments, we have but a few particulars to communicate, though it formed a profitable branch of industry in every part of Greece. Musical instruments were divided by the ancients into three kinds:[1100] those which were played by means of the breath,—the pipe, the trumpet, and the flute; those whose harmony resided in their strings, as the lyre and the cithara; and those which produced sound by beating or clashing against each other, as cymbals and the drum. The best trumpets, supposed to have been an invention of the Tyrrhenians,[1101] were obtained from Italy, though on many occasions great sea-shells were substituted for those larger instruments. In the East, trumpets were 189sometimes manufactured of cow-hide, though the usual materials were brass and iron, with a little bone for the mouth-piece.[1102] There were two kinds,—the straight and the crooked.

Of the pipe of barley-straw,[1103] invented by Osiris, nothing need be said except, that its use and manufacture formed the amusement of shepherds. The fashioning of the common pipe constituted an important branch of industry, particularly in Bœotia, where the reed[1104] from which it was made abounded in the Orchomenian marshes,[1105] between the Cephisos and the Melas, in the place called Pelecania.[1106] The season for cutting, which prevailed up to the age of Antigones, was the month Boedromion; but, for the improvement of the instrument, that musician altered the time, which thenceforward was in the months Scirophorion and Hecatombion.[1107] The reeds were prepared in the following manner: being cut, they were piled in a heap with their leaves on, and left in the open air during the whole winter. Having in spring been cleared of their outer integuments, well rubbed and exposed to the sun, they were, during the summer, cut into lengths at the knots, and left a little longer in the open air.[1108] The 190internodial spaces did not fall short of two palms in length, and the best portions of the reed used for making the double pipe[1109] was about the middle.[1110] Pipes and flutes[1111] were likewise manufactured of the leg-bones of stags, at least in Bœotia. The lotos-wood[1112] transverse flute was an invention of the Africans. The elymœan flute made of boxwood owed its origin to the Phrygians, and was played during the worship of Cybelè. That called hippophorbos was invented by the last dwellers of Libya, who habitually played on it while pasturing their great droves of horses in the desert.[1113] It appears to have been a very simple instrument, fashioned of a piece of laurel-wood, by removing the bark and scooping out the pith. Its sharp shrill sound which could be heard far and near, delighted the ears of the horses, who probably, like the Turks, estimate the merit of music by its loudness. The monaulos, a favourite invention of the Egyptians, spoken of by Sophocles in his Thamyris, was usually played in marriage concerts.[1114] The lugubrious funeral-pipe of the Carians was a Phrygian invention. There existed among the Thebans a curious instrument of this kind, probably used in hunting, made from the bones of fawns, with a coating of bronze.[1115] The Tyrrhenians, like the rude sportsmen of Europe, drew music from the horn. Among the Phœnicians was a small flute made of goose-bones, not exceeding a span in length, called gingras[1116] in honour of Adonis, so named in their language, which emitting a plaintive and melancholy note, was doubtless 191much used in the wailing orgies of that divinity. Its character being exceedingly simple, it was habitually put into the hands of beginners,[1117] and seems to have been very common at Athens. The most extraordinary pipes, however, enumerated by ancient writers, were the ones in which those Scythian tribes denominated by the Greeks, Cannibals, Black Cloaks, and Arimaspians, delighted; and manufactured from the leg-bones of eagles and vultures.[1118] The Celts and the islanders of the ocean, our own forefathers, doubtless eschewed the music of vultures’ legs, and contented themselves with the notes of the syrinx.[1119]

In earlier times there was a flute appropriated to each mode, or grand division of the national music, but afterwards Pronomos of Thebes,[1120] invented one equally well suited to every mode. Even the manufacture of mouth-pieces, and flute-cases formed a considerable branch of industry. The materials from which the above instruments were chiefly made, were, in addition to those already mentioned, branches of the elder tree and dwarf laurel, bones of asses and kids, ivory and silver.[1121] Organs, and hydraulic organs, the latter invented by the Alexandrian barber Ctesibios, to whom antiquity was likewise indebted for the knowledge of the pump, were reckoned by the ancients among wind-instruments.[1122]

Of stringed-instruments the most common was the lyre,[1123] manufactured from many kinds of fine wood, and sometimes of ivory.[1124] The bridge was usually of ilex.[1125] The cithara,[1126] introduced at Athens by Phrynis,[1127] was made sometimes of horn with wooden 192pegs,[1128] though mention occurs of one formed entirely of solid gold, adorned with figures in relief of the Muses, Orpheus, and Apollo, and thickly studded with emeralds and other precious stones.[1129] The magadis,[1130] sometimes reckoned among wind-instruments, was unquestionably stringed, since we find Timotheus, accused at Sparta of innovating in the number of its chords, pointing out to his accuser an ancient statue of Apollo, in which the god was represented playing on a magadis with an equal number.[1131] In proof of its antiquity it may be remarked, that Lesbothemis, a sculptor, who flourished in a remote age at Mytilene, where this instrument was always in high favour,[1132] represented one of the Muses with the magadis in her hand. The pectis, said to have been an invention of Sappho, and by some confounded with the magadis, ought rather perhaps to be regarded as a modification of that instrument.[1133] The epigoneion, so called from its inventor Epigonos, by birth an Ambraciot, though afterwards made a citizen of Sicyon, was a kind of harp with forty strings, resembling, probably, those many-chorded instruments represented on the monuments of Egypt and Ethiopia. This Epigonos, is said to have been the first person who in playing dispensed with the use of the plectron.[1134] The ancient Arabs forestalled Signor Paganini, and drew a world of sweet sounds from an instrument of one chord:[1135] the Assyrians had their pandoura, with three strings.[1136] Among the Scythians was found the pentachordon, stringed with thongs of raw bull-hide, and played on by a plectron of goat’s hoof. The Libyans, more especially the Troglodytes, filled their caverns with the 193music of the psithura, otherwise called the ascaron, an instrument a cubit square, which produced sounds resembling the tinkling of castanets. Cantharos attributes its invention to the Thracians. To these we may add the drum, the tambourine,[1137] with cymbals, and castanets, sometimes of brass, and sometimes of shells, played on by women in honour of Artemis.

The business of the potter[1138] was held in considerable estimation among the Greeks, so that several celebrated cities rivalled each other in their productions. Among these, Athens,[1139] Samos, and Rhodes held the first rank.[1140] Even the Bœotian Aulis obtained some degree of reputation for its earthenware.[1141] But that made at Kolias,[1142] in Attica, from the clay there found, and richly painted with figures in minium, appears to have been the most beautiful known to antiquity.

The number of rough articles produced was prodigious, seeing that oil, and wine, and salt-fish, and pickles, and a variety of other commodities were exported in jars; while almost all culinary operations were carried on in earthern vessels. Such of these as found their way to Egypt, after the conquest of that country by the Persians, were filled with Nile water, and transported into the desert, on camels, to slake the thirst of the wayfarers on that arid waste.[1143] Perhaps, the largest articles of 194earthenware, however, were the corn-jars, some of which are said to have contained nearly a quarter of grain, in lieu of which plaited corbels were sometimes used.[1144] Much art and elegance was displayed in the forms, varnishing, and painting of fictile vases, some of which, of light and graceful contour, were made without bottoms, wholly for ornament.[1145] The colours employed in the painting of vases, more particularly those intended to hold the ashes of the dead, were generally light and durable; and the ease and beauty of the figures prove that the ancient potters paid great attention to the arts of design. The ornaments were extremely various, sometimes consisting of representations of the gods, as Heracles, Pan, or the genii, sometimes of oakleaves, garlands, or festoons, arranged with taste and elegance.[1146] Athenæus speaks of a kind of porcelain called Rhossican,[1147] covered with the forms of flowers, upon which Cleopatra expended five minæ per day. Another branch of the potter’s business consisted in the manufacturing of lamps,[1148] which were so generally in use, that, throughout the Greek and the Roman world, the sites of cities, the ruins of temples, and the sepulchral chambers excavated beneath the earth, lavishly abound with them, entire or in fragments.[1149] Hyperbolos is said to have amassed a considerable fortune by selling lamps of an inferior quality.[1150] Wax-candles, however, were likewise in use, at least in 195later ages,[1151] and with the same materials they fashioned artificial pomegranates and other ornaments, together with small portable images of animals, men, and gods, which, like our figures of plaster of Paris, were sold, as well as those of clay, about the streets. Some notion, too, may be formed of the price, since we find that a figure of Eros fetched a drachma.[1152]

The manufacture of glass[1153] was carried to a very high degree of perfection among the ancients.[1154] They understood the methods of blowing, cutting, and engraving on it; could stain it of every rich and brilliant colour so as to imitate the most precious gems,[1155] from the ruby and the amethyst to the turquoise and the beryl; they could fashion it into jars, and bowls, and vases, exhibiting all the various hues of the peacock’s train, which, like shot-silks and the breast of the dove, exhibited fresh tints in every different light,—fading, quivering, and melting into each other as the eye changed its point of view.[1156] 196Squares of glass were produced, perfectly polished and transparent without, but containing figures of various colours in their interior.[1157] Glass, likewise, was wrought into bassi and alti rilievi, and cast, as gems were cut, into cameos.[1158] The manufacturers of Alexandria excelled in the working of glass,[1159] with which they skilfully imitated all kinds of earthenware, fabricating cups of every known form.

It is added, moreover, that a certain kind of earth was found in Egypt, without which the best kind of coloured glass[1160] could not be produced. Petronius informs us, that, in the reign of Tiberius, a skilful experimentalist discovered the art of rendering this substance malleable, but that the emperor, from some freak of tyranny, put the man to death, and thus his secret was lost to the world.[1161] A similar act of cruelty was perpetrated by the public authorities at Dantzic, who, in the seventeenth century, caused an able mechanician, who had invented a superior kind of ribbon-loom, to be strangled.[1162]

1003. Winkel. Hist. de l’Art. i. 37.

1004. Cf. Sch. Aristoph. Pac. 299.

1005. Plato de Rep. t. vi. p. 15. Winkel. Hist. de l’Art, ii. 544. Goguet. iv. 11. Theoph. de Lapid. 48.

1006. Winkelmann, ii. 544.

1007. On one occasion, moreover, when they happened to be in lack of hods, they gave proof of no less ingenuity in their mode of carrying mortar. In the hasty construction of the fortress of Pylos, by Demosthenes and his companions, the soldiers took the mud, which was to serve as cement, on their bare backs, stooping forward that it might not fall off, and knotting their hands on their loins beneath their burden: καὶ τὸν πηλὸν, εἴπου δέοι χρῆσθαι, ἀγγείων ἀπορίᾳ, ἐπὶ τοῦ νώτου ἔφερον, ἐγκεκυφότες τε, ὡς μάλιστα μέλλοι ἐπιμένειν, καὶ τὼ χεῖρε ἐς τοὐπίσω ξυμπλέκοντες, ὅπως μὴ ἀποπίπτοι. Thucyd. iv. 4. The reader will, doubtless, be struck by the picturesque energy with which the great historian relates this humble fact.

1008. Theoph. de Lapid. § 65, sqq. The κονία, or stucco, was likewise called ἀσβέστος. A wall covered with this substance was called κεκονιαμένος τοῖχος. Schol. ad Theocrit. i. 31.

1009. Theoph. de Lapid. § 67.

1010. Winkelm. Hist de l’Art, ii. 81.

1011. Dioscor. v. 164.

1012. Luc. Contemplant. § 6.

1013. Of this Byzes, who lived in the age of Alyattes and Astyages, Pausanias gives the following account:—τὸ δὲ εὕρημα (viz. that of the tiles) ἀνδρὸς Ναξίου λέγουσιv εἶναι Βύζου, οὗ φασὶν ἐν Νάξω τὰ ἀγάλματα ἐφ᾽ ὧν ἐπίγραμμα εἶναι

Νάξιος Εὔεργός με γένει Λητοῦς πόρε, Βύζεω

Παῖς, ὃς πρώτιστος τεῦξε λίθου κέραμον.

De Situ Græciæ. v. 10. 3. Cf. Poll. i. 12. Another article produced by the same handicraftsmen was the chimney-pots, ὀπαίαι, which appear to have been in almost universal use: ὀπαίαν οἱ Ἀττικοὶ τὴν κεραμίδα ἐκάλουν, ἣ τὴν ὀπὴν εἶχεν. Poll. ii. 54. The nature of the ὀπαία is more exactly explained by the author of the Etymologicon Magnum: κράτης δέ φησιν ἀνοπαῖαν τὴν τὲ τρημένην κεραμίδα τὴν ἐπὶ τῆς ὀροφῆς. iii. 21.

1014. Dioscor. i. 133.

1015. Winkelmann, ii. 68. Xenoph. Œconom. i. 3, seq.

1016. Dion Chrysost. i. 261. ii. 459.

1017. Sch. Aristoph. Pac. 153.

1018. Plat. De Rep. t. vi. p. 353. Pollux. x. 84.

1019. For a knowledge of this fact we are indebted to the elder Pliny: In Belgicâ provinciâ candidum lapidem serrâ, qua lignum, faciliusque etiam, secant, ad tegularum et imbricum vicem: vel si libeat, ad quæ vocant pavonacea tegendi genera, xxxvi. 44. On which Dalecampus has the following note: Docti complures legendum putant, pavita, aut pavimenta, i. e. pavimenti modo facta et constructa. Ego pavonacea interpretor, picturatis lapidum impositorum quadris ad instar pennarum pavonis fulgentia, et splendentia, ut hodie fit in principum ædibus tegulis magnâ colorum varietate nitentibus et conspicuis. See also the note of Hardouin in loc.

1020. Among the frailest dwellings of mankind, with the exception perhaps of the paper houses of the Japanese, we may mention those of the Nasamones described by Herodotus, composed of the stems of the asphodel intertwisted with rushes: οἰκήματα δὲ σύμπηκτα ἐξ ἀνθερίκων ἐνερμένων περὶ σχοίνους ἐστὶ, καὶ ταῦτα περιφορητά. iv. 190. Cf. v. 101.

1021. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 55.

1022. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 2. 1.

1023. Id. iv. 1. 2.

1024. See a curious figure of the axe, Mus. Chiaramont, pl. 21. Of the time of fruit-bearing in forest trees, see Theoph. Hist. Plant, iii. 4. 4. The same naturalist remarks, that the ilex, in Arcadia, was perpetually covered with acorns, the old ones not falling off till the new ones appeared. The yew and the pine blossom, he observes, a little before midsummer, and the bright yellow flowers of the latter, are extremely beautiful in form. Ib.

1025. Geopon. i. 6. 4. iii. 1. 2. iii. 10. 4. iii. 15. 3. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 1. 2.

1026. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 2. 4.

1027. Lucian. Jup. Confut. § 11, who elsewhere commemorates the practice of carpenters, who shut one eye that they may see the better. Icaromenip. § 14.

1028. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 4. 7.

1029. Id. v. 6. 4.

1030. Aul. Gell. Noct. Apt. xv. 1.

1031. Auger-handles and small mallets were made of oleaster, box, elm, and ash; large mallets of pine wood. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 7. 8.

1032. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 179.

1033. Antich. di Ercol. t. i. tav. 24, p. 181.

1034. Μίλτος τεκτονικὴ. Dioscor. v. 12.

1035. In this country the pitch pine (πίτυς) was rare, but it abounded in Elis. Theophrast. Hist. Plant. iii. 94.

1036. Id. v. 4. 6.

1037. Id. v. 3. 5-7. 4-4, seq.

1038. Athen. ix. 67.

1039. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 10. 1, seq.

1040. Theophrast. Hist. Plant. iii. 8. 4. v. 7. 7.

1041. Id. v. 6. 1.

1042. Id. v. 5. 4-6.

1043. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 462. Poll. i. 253.

1044. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 16. 3.

1045. Id. iii. 10. 1.

1046. Id. v. 6. 2.

1047. Athen. iii. 55.

1048. Beckmann decides for the negative, i. 247.

1049. Antich. di Ercol. t. ii. tav. 12, p. 79. t. iii. pp. 227. 231.

1050. Herod. iv. 64.

1051. Plut. Arat. § 25.

1052. Beckmann, History of Inventions, ii. 170, sqq.

1053. Sch. Aristoph. Pac. 1168.

1054. Id. 1055. 789.

1055. Cf. Dutens, Orig. des Découv. p. 258. Aristoph. Pac. 17, seq. Eq. 432, cum Schol.

1056. Beckmann, iv. 75, seq.

1057. Cf. Bœckh, Pub. Econ. of Athens. i. 1441, whose laborious researches on this subject lead to no result.

1058. This tree, which bore fruit in Egypt, only flowered in Rhodes. iii. 3. 5.

1059. Ælian. De Natur. Animal. ap. Schneid. ad Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 2. 5. t. iii. p. 284. The account of this tree given by Dioscorides contains a brief allusion to the fact related at length by Ælian, that it was poisonous in its original country, together with some other particulars nowhere else I believe stated. Περσέα δένδρον ἐστὶν ἐν Ἀιγύπτῳ, καρπὸν φέρον ἐδώδιμον, εὐστόμαχον· ἐφ᾽ οὗ καὶ τὰ λεγόμενα κρανοκόλαπτα φαλάγγια εὑρίσκεται, μάλιστα δὲ ἐν Θηβαΐδι. Δύναμιν δὲ ἔχει τὰ φύλλα λεία ἐπιπλαττόμενα ξηρὰ, αἱμοῤῥαγίαν ἱστᾷν, τοῦτο δὲ ἱστόρησαν τινες ἐν Περσίδι ἀναιρετικὸν εἶναι, μετατεθὲν δὲ εἰς Ἀιγύπτον, ἀλλοιωθῆναι καὶ ἐδώδιμον γενέσθαι. i. 187.

1060. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 2. 5. Cf. Clusii. Hist. Rar. Plant. i. 2.

1061. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 3. 3. Cf. Gitone, Il Costume Antico e Moderno di tutti i Popoli. t. i. p. 94, tav. 15.

1062. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 11. 12, seq.

1063. Id. v. 3. 3.

1064. This tree was supposed particularly to delight in the perpetual snows of the Cretan Ida. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 1. 3.

1065. Hist. Plant. v. 4. 2.

1066. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 37, seq. Cf. Plin. Hist. Nat. 30. Diod. Sicul. v. 46. This wood, on account of its extraordinary durability, was much used in the roofing of ancient temples. Many suppose it to be the Arbor Vitæ. Clus. Hist. Rar. Plant. i. 24. p. 36, seq.

1067. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 4. 3.

1068. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 2. 7.

1069. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 530.

1070. Plat. De Rep. t. vi. 86. Plin. viii. 39. xxxv. 36. xxxiii. 54. Poll. i. 7. See the note of the Milanese editor of Winkelmann, Hist. de l’Art, t. i. p. 31, seq.

1071. Plut. Alex. § 14. Herod. ii. 131. Pausanias supplies a list of the different kinds of wood used in the most ancient statues. viii. 17. 2.

1072. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 3. 7.

1073. Id. v. 3. 6.

1074. Cf. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 9. 8.

1075. Plut. Alex. § 14.

1076. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 9. 7.

1077. Schweigh. Anim. in Athen. t. vi. p. 52. Schol. Arist. Eq. 1207. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. 310. Poll. vii. 79. Plat. Tim. t. vii. pp. 52. 61. Luc. Amor. § 39. Arist. De Mund. c. vi.

1078. Creuzer. Commentat. Herodot. Ægypt. et Hellen. i. § 7. p. 62, seq. Raoul Rochette, Cours D’Archéologie, p. 342, seq.

1079. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 10. 4-13. 1. v. 7. 5. Philost. Icon. i. 31. p. 809.

1080. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 15. 2. v. 7. 7. Common baskets too were made of the leaves of the dwarf-palm, Id. i. 6. 11, and various domestic utensils from the roots of the papyrus. Id. iv. 8. 4.

1081. Athen. vi. 15.

1082. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 428.

1083. Athen. vi. 157. That the trade of lantern-making was of considerable importance in the ancient world may be inferred from the great number of lanterns made use of in fortified cities, either when actually besieged, or when apprehensive of sudden attacks from the enemy. See on this subject a long and interesting passage in Æneas Tacticus, cap. xxvi. p. 81, seq. Ed. Orell. Cf. cap. xxii. p. 67, seq.

1084. Athen. xii. 57.

1085. Luc. Cynic. § 9. Somn. seu Gall. § 14.

1086. Origine des Découvertes, p. 194.

1087. Histoire de l’Art. p. 34.

1088. Εὐεργης δὲ καὶ ὁ ἔλεφας γίνεταὶ βρεχόμενος αὐτῳ. Dioscor. ii. 109.

1089. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 7. 1.

1090. Id. de Lapid. § 42. Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxvi. 44. Tournefort, Voyage, t. i. p. 209.

1091. Gitone, Il Costume, pl. 20.

1092. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. 170, seq. Suid. v. σκύταλον, t. ii. p. 768. b. Poll. iv. 170. v. 18. x. 113.

1093. Luc. Dial. Meret. xi. § 3. The Celastron, an evergreen, and the Mya, were also used for walkingsticks. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 7. 7.

1094. Theophrast. Hist. Plant. i. 3. 2, seq.

1095. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 13. 4. 14. 4. Old men sometimes flourished a pair. Sch. Aristoph. Plut. 272. Generally, however, they were content, even in winter, with one, and were, therefore, compared by the poets to three-legged stools. Hesiod. Opp. et Dies, 533. Æschyl. Agam. 80. Eurip. Troad. 275. For the thick, heavy staff affected by old men see in Zoëga (Bassi Rilievi, tav. 40) a basso rilievo representing the Death of Meleager.

1096. Dioscor. i. 135.

1097. To this fact Aristophanes jocularly alludes, where he describes the ears of the Demos as opening and closing under the influence of eloquence. Equit. 1344, seq.

Τὰ δ᾽ ὦτα γάρ σου, νὴ Δί᾽, ἐξεπετάννυται,
Ὥσπερ σκιάδιον, καὶ πάλιν ξυνήγεται.

On this passage the Scholiast observes: σκέπασμά τι, ὅπερ αἱ γυναῖκες παρὰ τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις ἔχουσι θέουσαι ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ καίεσθαι τὰς ὄψεις ὑπὸ τοῦ ἡλίου. ἐκτείνεται δὲ καὶ συστέλλεται πρὸς τὸν κατεπείγοντα καιρόν.

1098. Hope, Costumes of the Ancients.—Gitone, Il Cost. Ant. e Mod. pl. 17. pl. 67.

1099. Aristoph. Eq. 1384. cum Schol.

1100. Sch. Aristoph. Nub. 312.

1101. Poll. iv. 70. Sch. Aristoph. Ran. 133. Cf. Raoul Rochette, Cours D’Archéol. p. 136. In lieu of trumpets the Indians, we are told, made use of certain whips, by the flourishing and cracking of which in the air they produced a kind of rude music. These strange sounds were accompanied by the low and terrible roll of their great drums, which still continue to delight the ear of the Hindùs. Suid. v. σάλπιγξ, t. ii. 709. b. For the common form of the trumpet see Gitone, Il Costume, tav. 81. Zoëga, Bassi Rilievi, tav. 9.

1102. Poll. iv. 71.

1103. Cf. Aristot. Problem. xix. 23.

1104. Cf. Philost. Icon. i. 20. p. 794.

1105. The borders of this lake must at all times have presented a most picturesque appearance, tufted as they were with thickets of the willow and the eleagnos, while a variety of terrestrial and aquatic plants descended its banks and spread themselves far into the water, as the pipe and the common reed, the white nymphæa, the typha, the phleos, the cyperos, the menyanthos, the icmè, and the ipnon. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 10. 1.

1106. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 11. 8. Dioscor. i. 94. The κάλαμος συριγγίας is the Saccharum Ravennæ of Sibthorp, Flora Græca, tab. 52, where it is observed, that it is found “in Peloponneso coprosè; ad littora Ponti Euxini propè Fanar.”

1107. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 11. 9.

1108. The form of the modern pipe is thus described by Chandler, who, after having spoken of the taborer, adds “this was accompanied by a pipe with a reed for the mouth-piece, and below it a circular rim of wood, against which the lips of the player came. His cheeks were much inflated, and the notes so various, shrill, and disagreeable, as to remind me of the composition designed for the ancient Aulos or flute, as was fabled by Minerva.” Travels, &c. i. 49.

1109. Cf. Gitone, Il Costume, tav. 65.

1110. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 11. 6, seq.

1111. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 827, seq. Cf. Plat. De Rep. t. vi. p. 386.

1112. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 3. 3. Poll. iv. 74.

1113. Poll. iv. 74. Comm. t. iv. p. 720. Ælian. De Nat. Animal. xii. 44.

1114. Poll. iv. 75.

1115. Id. iv. 75.

1116. Athen. iv. 76. Poll. iv. 76.

1117. Athen. iv. 75. Hesych. v. γιγγρίσι.

1118. Poll. iv. 76.

1119. Suid. v. σύριγξ, t. ii. p. 844. a.

1120. Cf. Dion Chrysost. i. 263.

1121. Jul. Scalig. Poet. i. 20, p. 78, seq.

1122. Athen. iv. 75. Pignor. de Serv. p. 88, seq. Vitruv. ix. 9.

1123. A rude species of lyre is still in use in Asia Minor. Chandler, Travels, &c., i. 149.

1124. Athen. xv. 50. Herod. iv. 192.

1125. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 7. 6.

1126. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 574.

1127. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 958.

1128. Luc. adv. Indoct. § 10.

1129. Id. § 8.

1130. Athen. iv. 35. Poll. iv. 61. Anab. vii. 3. Meur. Lect. Att. iv. 20.

1131. Athen. xiv. 40.

1132. Id. 36.

1133. Poll. iv. 59.

1134. Etym. Mag. 605. 45.

1135. Poll. iv. 60.

1136. There was likewise an instrument of four chords. Etym. Mag. 514. 34.

1137. See a representation of this instrument, with a portrait painted on the bottom of it. Antich. di Ercol. t. iv. p. 151.

1138. On the potter’s wheel, see Suidas. v. κωλιάδος κεραμῆες. t. i. p. 1511. b.

1139. Aristoph. Acharn. 901, seq.

1140. Athen. xi. 37.

1141. Pausan. ix. 19. 8.

1142. Schol. Aristoph. Lysist. 2. Chandler, Travels, ii. 166. Lucian observes somewhat jocularly that in some parts of Africa the natives were driven to the use of ostrich’s eggs for goblets, because no potter’s clay was found in their country. De Dipsad. § 7. Cf. Plin. Nat. Hist. x. 1. Bochart. Hierozoic. Compend. ii. 16.

1143. Herodot. iii. 6. A large branch of the potter’s business consisted in the manufacture of earthen pipes used in conveying water to towns and cities. See Chandler, Travels, &c. i. 22. seq. 133.

1144. Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 614.

1145. Winkelmann, Hist, de l’Art. t. i. p. 30, seq.

1146. “Morning Chronicle,” July 17, 1838, p. 3, where we find an account of several of these jars dug up at Exeter.

1147. Athen. vi. 15.

1148. These were filled with the ἀρύταινα, a brazen ladle. Schol. Arist. Eq. 1087. Æropos, king of Macedon, was an amateur lamp-maker, devoting his leisure hours to the manufacture of diminutive lamps and tables, just as other kings used to unbend their minds, after the enjoyment of luxury, by painting, playing the flute, or wielding the turning-lathe. Plut. Demet. § 20.

1149. Herodot. ii. 62. Cf. Sophocl. Aj. 285, sqq.

1150. Aristoph. Eq. 1301. Vesp. 1001.

1151. Vid. Plin. xiii. 27. xvi. 70, cum not. Hard.—Antipat. ap. Anthol. Græc. vi. 249.

1152. Anacreon, 10. Athen. viii. 50. Suid. v. κοροπλάθοι t. ii. p. 1500. a.

1153. Plat. Tim. t. vii. p. 81.

1154. Large glass cups. Luc. Quomed. Hist. sit Conscrib. § 25. In the Antichita di Ercolano we see represented a glass vase so completely transparent, that the eggs with which it is filled are seen as distinctly as through water. t. ii. p. 111. Cf. t. iii. p. 287.

1155. Petron. Satyr, p. 99. Cf. Treb. Poll. Gallien. § 12. p. 321. Caylus supposes them to have mixed a small portion of lead with their glass. t. ii. p. 355.

1156. The allusions of ancient authors to these vases are few. They are mentioned, however, in a letter of Adrian to the Consul Servianus: “Calices tibi allassontes versicolores transmisi, quos mihi sacerdos templi obtulit, tibi et sorori meæ specialiter dedicatos, quos tu velim festis diebus conviviis adhibeas.” Vopisc. in Vit. Saturnin. cap. viii. Casaubon, in his note on this passage, speaks of these cups in the following terms: Allassontes qui colorem mutant sicut palumborum colla. The murrhine vases, the nature of which so many have attempted to explain, if they were not after all a species of glass, appear at least to have had many analogous qualities; and the following description of Pliny is calculated to create the highest idea of their beauty: “Splendor his sine viribus: nitorque verius quam splendor. Sed in pretio varietas colorum subinde circumagentibus se maculis in purpuram candoremque, et tertium ex utroque ignescentem, veluti per transitum coloris, in purpura, aut rubescente lacteo. Sunt qui maxime in iis laudent extremitates et quosdam colorum repercussus quales in cœlesti arcu spectantur.” Nat. Hist. xxxvii. 8.

1157. Winkelmann, Hist. de l’Art. i. 48.

1158. Winkel. Hist. de l’Art. i. 51. See Beckmann, Hist. of Inventions, vol. i. p. 240.

1159. Athen. xi. 28. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 756.

1160. Strab. ap. Beckmann, History of Inventions, i. 198.

1161. Satyr. c. 51, p. 25, seq. Burm. Plin. xxxvi. 66.

1162. Beckmann, iii, 494.



There was, moreover, produced in Greece, a number of articles, whether of use or luxury, to the venders of which it appears difficult to appropriate a name. It must necessarily be inferred, however, that there existed a class of shopkeepers analogous to our oil and colour men, at whose establishments were found most or all of the following commodities: every kind of vegetable oil, for cookery, painting, or to be burned as lamp-oil, of sea salt, probably for medicinal purposes,[1163] oil of horseradish,[1164] used instead of the root itself, as a condiment. Among the lamp-oils it is worthy of observation that the Greeks included castor oil[1165] which was commonly, from its nauseous effects, eschewed as a medicine. Bitumen[1166] also was occasionally burnt in lamps. Their lampwicks were ordinarily of rushes,[1167] which they sometimes anointed with the oil expressed from the seeds of the myagrum perenne;[1168] and from certain nuts found on the oak they obtained a sort of woolly substance[1169] which, being twisted into wicks, burnt freely without oil. The dried stem of the torch-weed[1170] was likewise employed for this purpose. Their flambeaux consisted originally of slips of the pine or pitch tree,[1171] or even 198as at Rhodes of the bark of the vine,[1172] but afterwards certain combustible compositions were burned in painted and ornamented handles.[1173]

The making of pitch, generally found in these shops, was carried on in the following manner,[1174] particularly among the Macedonians: Having cleared a large level space in the forests, as when constructing a threshing-floor, they carefully paved it, and gave the whole a slope towards the centre. The billets of wood were then piled up endways as close to each other as possible, and so as that the height of the heap should always be in proportion to its magnitude. These piles were frequently of enormous dimensions, falling little short of a hundred yards in circumference and rising to the height of eighty or ninety feet. The whole mound was then covered with turf and earth; and the wood having been set on fire by means of an open passage below, which immediately afterwards was closed, numerous ladders were thrown up along its sides in order that, should the least smoke anywhere appear, fresh layers of turf and earth might be cast upon it: for if the flame found a vent the hopes of the manufacturer were destroyed. The pitch flowed off by an underground channel leading from the centre of the area to a spacious cistern sunk in the earth about twenty feet beyond the circumference of the mound, where it was suffered to cool. During two days and two nights the fire in these heaps continued generally to burn, requiring the incessant care and vigilance of the workmen, though it frequently happened that before sunset on the second day, the earthy crust flattened and fell in, the wood being reduced to ashes. This was generally preceded by the pitch ceasing to flow. The whole of this period was converted into a holiday by the labourers, 199who offered sacrifice to the gods, and preferred many prayers, that their pitch might be plentiful and good.

Nitre was procured from wood-ashes,[1175] as it is at this day in Circassia, from the ashes of a plant cultivated for the purpose. It has been supposed that the ancients were acquainted with gunpowder;[1176] and there appears to have been a dim tradition of artificial thunder and lightning among the Brachmanes in the remotest antiquity.[1177]

The demand for the various earths and colours was considerable; such as the Melian, a fine white marl, used by artists frequently for communicating to green paint a pale hue;[1178] the Cimolian, by fullers;[1179] and the gypsum, employed occasionally by both. The Samian, being fat and unctuous,[1180] was eschewed by painters, though it found its place among the materia medica. Another article in much request was the argol, a beautiful moss,[1181] used both by painters and dyers; to which we may add the cinnabar[1182] and the kermes, used for dying scarlet; the Indian black,[1183] indigo, ultramarine, lamp and ivory black, painter’s soot, collected from glass furnaces,[1184] verdigris, ceruse, and minium, used in painting vases and clay statues.[1185] Other substances which sometimes entered into the materials of painters were, the sandarach[1186] and the orpiment, found in gold, silver, and 200copper mines, ochre, ruddle, and chrysocolla. Ruddle was successfully imitated by burnt ochre, the manufacturing of which was the invention of Cydias,[1187] who having observed that a quantity of ochre found in a house which was burnt down had assumed a red colour, profited by the hint, though the article thus produced was inferior to the natural. The Lemnian earth,[1188] having been mixed with goats’ blood, kneaded into small round pastilles, and stamped with the figure of a goat, was vended, partly as a medicine, partly to be used in sacrifice. In the same shops, doubtless, sealing-wax and ink were sold.[1189] The receipt for preparing the latter was as follows:[1190] to an ounce of gum they added three ounces of pine-torch or resin soot, or even that which was obtained from the glass furnaces, and used, as above observed, by painters. In this latter case, a mina of soot was mingled with a pound and a half of gum, and an ounce and a half of bull’s glue and copperas-water. An infusion of wormwood[1191] was sometimes used in the manufacture of ink, which preserved the manuscripts written with it from being gnawed by rats or other vermin. Another method was, to smear the parchment with saffron and cedar oil.[1192]

201Next to these, perhaps, should be ranged those shops which resembled our Italian warehouses, where the gourmands of antiquity procured their best vinegar, pickles, and sauces.[1193] To enumerate all the articles found in such an establishment would be somewhat difficult; but we may observe that they sold, among other things, the best Colophonian mustard,[1194] pepper,[1195] together with all the substitutes occasionally used for it, such as the Syrian nard,[1196] water-pepper,[1197] and, among the ancient Italians, lovage of Lombardy,[1198] garlic heads,[1199] a mixture of salt and thyme,[1200] pickled olives, and cornel-berries, to be eaten at table, pickled dittander,[1201] mountain rue,[1202] snakeweed or wake-robin, fennel or chervil, tendrils of the wild vine,[1203] eringo root, sea-heath, cammock, lettuces and parsley.[1204] To these may be added silphion, sesame, citron-peel, cumin, wild marjoram, capers, cresses, and fig-leaves.[1205] Among the Syrians, the root and seeds of the sison-amomum were used as spices, and pickled with sliced gourds.[1206] The Arabs, we are told, seasoned their dishes with the leaf of the ginger plant.[1207] Ginger-root was likewise known and used as a condiment in Greece.

Although, properly speaking, there may, in early times, have been no such trades as those of the druggist and the apothecary, there very soon arose a class of men who nearly resembled them, though professing to practise medicine.[1208] Into the shops of those persons we shall now beg leave to enter, and 202observe some few of the materials with which the children of Æsculapius preserved or destroyed the health of the Greeks. The art of medicine itself, as it existed among them, I shall not venture to examine, abandoning that part of the subject to the investigation of professional men.[1209]

The interior of an ancient surgery, though it may have been less lavishly furnished than one of our own day, made, nevertheless, some pretensions to show. There were, for example, ranged in order on shelves, numerous medicine chests of ivory; brass and silver cupping instruments,[1210] lancet-cases, and cases inlaid with gold.[1211] Flowers and aromatic plants were laid up in boxes of the wood of the linden tree, while seeds were preserved in paper or leaves. Liquid medicines were kept in vessels of silver, glass, or horn, or even in earthenware jars, provided they were well glazed. For these they sometimes substituted vases of boxwood, though those of metal were generally preferred, at least for all such as were intended for the eyes, or contained vinegar, pitch, or cedar juice. Lard, marrow, and all similar substances, were put into vessels of pewter.[1212] The instruments[1213] in most common use besides the bistoury, were the forceps, the scissors, the hypographs, the ear-pick, the probe,[1214] the needle, the scalpel, the tooth-file, the tooth-wrench, the eueidion, and the podostrabe, an instrument for reducing luxations. We ought, likewise, perhaps, to mention the bandages, ligatures, swathes, plaisters, lint, amulets, and bleeding-bowls.[1215]

203Their knowledge of the materia medica was acquired for the most part by experience, though there existed, previously to the time of Hippocrates, works on the virtues of plants, among which we may mention that of Cratevas. By degrees these treatises were greatly multiplied, and included, at length, a species of encyclopedia, arranged in alphabetical order;[1216] though not one single fragment of it has been spared by time. At first, and for many ages, the art relied chiefly upon simples, the qualities of which were consequently studied with great ardour, and, no doubt, with much success. Numerous individuals devoted themselves to the gathering, drying, and preserving, of medicinal roots and herbs, an occupation requiring considerable time and labour,—for which reasons the physicians, by whom it was originally performed, soon abandoned it to the rizotomists.

But the business of collecting simples, by whomsoever performed, required great knowledge and perseverance. The individuals who carried it on spread themselves, at the proper seasons of the year, through all Greece, more especially over Mount Pelion in Thessaly, Telethra in Eubœa, Parnassos in Phocis, and the uplands of Laconia and Arcadia,[1217] making inquiries, as they went along, of the inhabitants of every district and canton respecting the medicaments in use among them, and collecting from the mouths of peasants and shepherds the fruits of their limited but close observation. They passed, as a matter of course, the greater part of their lives in the fields, studying the topography and distribution of plants, and investigating all the phenomena of vegetation. They believed, that herbs vary in virtues and powers 204according as they are found in mountains or in valleys, in places overrun with moisture, and where the air is rank and heavy, or on spots swelling and exposed, where they are fanned and invigorated by every breeze that blows. They laid much stress, too, on the season of the year, on the weather, and on the hour of the day; some simples requiring, it was supposed, to be gathered when the sun has exhaled from them all extraneous moisture, others before its rising, others amid the darkness of night when their leaves and flowers were suffused with dew. They were guided, likewise, in their operations by other rules, some founded on experience, others originating in fancy and superstition. In culling, for example, the thapsia[1218] and several other herbs, they were careful, having first anointed themselves with oil, to stand with their backs to the wind, persuaded that they otherwise should inhale certain noxious effluvia which would cause their whole bodies to swell, or, in the case of the dog-rose,[1219] that their sight would be impaired.

Those who gathered the mountain rue,[1220] anointed their faces and hands with oil, to guard themselves against cutaneous inflammation. Again, of other herbs the juices are so pungent as to burn like fire: these were collected in the greatest haste. In digging the hellebore,[1221] too, the odour of which was supposed rapidly to affect the brain, they proceeded with great celerity, and were careful to eat a clove or two of garlic beforehand, and to drink a little pure wine after. But all these precautions were trifling compared with those which the good 205rizotomists had persuaded themselves were indispensable in collecting the peony flower.[1222] About this operation they interwove a sort of netting of romance: it was to be undertaken they affirmed by night, lest the woodpeckers, who regarded it with as much jealousy as the Indian ants do their gold, should fall upon the unfortunate herbalists, and with their sharp beaks pluck out their eyes. So, likewise, in gathering the centaury they were to stand on their guard lest they should be assaulted and maltreated by the hawks. Considering all these numerous evils which rizotomist flesh was heir to, Theophrastus thinks it by no means absurd, that when issuing forth on an enterprise so perilous, they should have fortified their nerves with many prayers. Some few, however, of their practices the philosopher condemns as a trifle beyond the mark, as for example when in digging the root of the Asclepian all-heal, they judged it necessary to propitiate mother earth by burying in its stead a cake composed of many various sweets. And again in unearthing the root of the iris fœtidissima, they interred a cake of spring wheat mixed with honey, not, however, before they had drawn round the spot a treble circle with a two-edged sword. When they had obtained possession of one of the roots, they held it up for some time in the air, and then proceeded to procure a second, and so on. Strangest of all, however, were the ceremonies observed in digging the mandrake.[1223] First, the triple magic circle was inscribed on the earth with a sword, then the pious rizotomist turned his face toward the west, and began to use his knife, while a second operator went dancing round, uttering all kinds of amorous incantations. Still more perilous was the gathering of the black hellebore, which they performed with the face towards the east, and many 206prayers to Apollo and Asclepios.[1224] The strictest watch was meanwhile to be kept, that no eagle appeared above the horizon; for if the eye of this king of birds happened to fall upon the herbalist while engaged in digging, he would infallibly die within the year.[1225]

After all these toilsome and dangerous enterprises it was natural that the rizotomists should desire to enjoy some advantages,[1226] which, accordingly, they procured themselves by selling dear their hard-won prizes to their equally superstitious countrymen. Making no pretension as I have said to describe the regular medical practice among the Greeks, I shall here, nevertheless, introduce some few particulars more or less connected with it, which may be regarded as characteristic of the age and people.[1227] Great were the virtues which they ascribed to the herb alysson, (biscutella didyma,) which, being pounded and eaten with meat, cured hydrophobia. Nay, more, being suspended in a house, it promoted the health of its inhabitants;[1228] it protected likewise both man and cattle from enchantment; and, bound in a piece of scarlet flannel round the necks of the latter, it preserved them from all diseases.

Coriander-seed,[1229] eaten in too great quantity, produced, they thought, a derangement of the intellect. Ointment of saffron had an opposite effect, for the nostrils and heads of lunatics being rubbed therewith 207they were supposed to receive considerable relief.[1230] Melampos the goatherd was reported to have cured the daughters of Prætos[1231] of their madness by large doses of black hellebore, which thereafter received from him the name of Melampodion. Sea-onions[1232] suspended over the doors preserved from enchantment, as did likewise a branch of rhamnus over doors or windows.[1233] A decoction of rosemary[1234] and of the leaves and stem of the anemone[1235] was administered to nurses to promote the secretion of milk, and a like potion prepared from the leaves of the Cretan dittany[1236] was given to women in labour. This herb, in order to preserve its virtues unimpaired, and that it might be the more easily transported to all parts of the country, was preserved in a joint of a ferula or reed. A plaster of incense,[1237] Cimolian earth, and oil of roses, was applied to reduce the swelling of the breasts. A medicine prepared from mule’s fern,[1238] was believed to produce sterility, as were likewise the waters of a certain fountain near Pyrrha, while to those about Thespiæ a contrary effect was attributed, as well as to the wine of Heraclea in Arcadia.[1239] The inhabitants of this primitive region 208drank milk as an aperient[1240] in the spring, because of the medicinal herbs on which the cattle were then supposed to feed. Medicines of laxative properties were prepared from the juice of the wild cucumber, which were said to retain their virtues for two hundred years,[1241] though simples in general were thought to lose their medicinal qualities in less than four.[1242] The oriental gum called kankamon was administered in water or honeyed vinegar to fat persons to diminish their obesity, and also as a remedy for the toothache.[1243] For this latter purpose the gum of the Ethiopian olive[1244] was put into the hollow tooth, though more efficacy perhaps was attributed to the root of dittander[1245] which they suspended as a charm about the neck. A plaster of the root of the white thorn[1246] or iris[1247] roots prepared with flour of copper, honey, and great centaury, drew out thorns and arrowheads without pain. An unguent procured from fern[1248] was sold to rustics for curing the necks of their cattle galled by the yoke. A decoction of marsh-mallow leaves[1249] and wine or honeyed vinegar was administered to persons who had been stung by bees or wasps or other insects;[1250] bites and burns were healed by an external application of the leaf smeared with oil, and the powdered roots cast into water caused it to freeze if placed out during the night in the open air; an 209unguent was prepared with oil from reeds, green or dry, which protected those who anointed themselves with it, from the stings of venomous reptiles. Cinnamon unguent,[1251] or terebinth and myrtle-berries,[1252] boiled in wine, were supposed to be a preservative against the bite of the tarantula or scorpion, as was the pistachio nut against that of serpents.[1253] Some persons ate a roasted scorpion to cure its own bite;[1254] a powder, moreover, was prepared from sea-crabs supposed to be fatal to this reptile.[1255] Vipers[1256] were made to contribute their part to the materia medica; for, being caught alive, they were enclosed with salt and dried figs in a vase which was then put into a furnace till its contents were reduced to charcoal, which they esteemed a valuable medicine. A considerable quantity of viper’s flesh was in the last century imported from Egypt into Venice, to be used in the composition of medicinal treacle.[1257] From the flowers of the sneezewort,[1258] a sort of snuff appears to have been manufactured, though probably used only in medicines. The ashes of old leather[1259] cured burns, galls, and blistered feet.

The common remedy when persons had eaten poisonous mushrooms was a dose of nitre exhibited in vinegar and water;[1260] with water it was esteemed a cure for the sting of the burncow, and with benzoin it operated as an antidote against the poison of bulls’ blood. The seeds of mountain-rue, in small quantities, were regarded as an antidote, but, administered too copiously, were themselves lethal.[1261] White hellebore was employed with honey and other medicines 210to poison rats;[1262] bastard saffron,[1263] mice, pigs, and dogs; which last were physicked with hellebore.[1264] The deadly qualities of this plant, when taken in any quantity, were universally known, and, therefore, the pharmacopolist, Thrasyas,[1265] of Mantinea, who boasted of having invented a poison which would kill without pain, attained the credit of possessing something like miraculous powers, because he used frequently, in the presence of many witnesses to eat a whole root, or even two, of hellebore. One day, however, a shepherd, coming into his shop, utterly destroyed his reputation; for, in the sight of all present, he devoured a whole handful, observing that it was nothing at all, for that he and his brethren on the mountains were accustomed to do as much, and more, daily.[1266] They had, in fact, discovered, that medicine is no medicine, and poison no poison, to those with whose bodies they have been assimilated by use. When limbs were to be amputated, and previous to the application of the cautery, a dose of powdered mandragora-root was usually administered.

On the nature, power, and uses, of ancient poisons, it is not my purpose to enlarge.[1267] It may be proper, 211however, to observe, that they had discovered drugs which would kill secretly, and at almost any given time from the moment of administering them. They, by certain preparations of aconite,[1268] so called from Aconè, a village in the country of the Mariandynians, the professional poisoners could take off an individual at any fixed period, from two months to two years. The possession, however, of this poison was in itself a capital offence.[1269] It was usually administered in wine or hydromel, where its presence was not to be detected by the taste. At first, there was supposed to exist no remedy, so that all who took it inevitably perished; but, at length, physicians, and even the common people of the country, discovered more than one antidote prepared from the ground-pine,[1270] from honey, and from the juice of the grape. Another poison, evidently in frequent use, was the bulb of the meadow-saffron (colchicum autumnale), which being known to everybody, and nearly always at hand, slaves[1271] were said to have plucked and eaten when enraged against their masters; but, repenting presently, they used, with still greater celerity, to rush in search of an antidote. Some persons, anxious to fortify their children against the effects of all noxious drugs, were in the habit of administering to them as soon as born a small dose of the powder of bindweed,[1272] which they believed to possess the power of protecting them for ever. When persons were invited out to dine where they ran the risk of meeting with ratsbane in their dishes, it was customary to chew a little calamint before the repast.[1273] In the case of the canine species the Argives, instead of having recourse to poison, like their neighbours, used to celebrate an annual festival during 212the dog-days, in which they seem to have slaughtered[1274]

Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And cur of low degree,

the moist atmosphere of their city having been peculiarly liable to engender hydrophobia.

Among the more remarkable of the materia medica was the cedar gum, generally transparent, and of a most pungent odour. It was esteemed destructive of living bodies, but formed, doubtless, an important ingredient among the embalmer’s materials, since it completely preserved corpses from corruption, on which account it was sometimes called the Life of the Dead.[1275] It entered, moreover, into preparation designed to sharpen the sight.

The gum obtained from the cherry-tree[1276] was administered in wine and water to promote appetite. A dose of saffron and boiled wine restored the tone of the stomach after excess at table. Asses’ milk was habitually given to consumptive patients, connected with which practice there is an apothegm of Demosthenes, which may be worth repeating. When he was once exerting himself to prevail on some foreign state to ally itself with Athens, an orator in opposition observed, that the Athenians were like asses’ milk, whose presence always indicated sickness in the places they visited. “It is true,” replied Demosthenes, “but the sickness previously exists, and they come to cure it.” A mixture of salt and water, to which the Egyptians added the juice of the radish,[1277] constituted a very common emetic. Opium was in general use even 213so early, apparently, as the age of Homer,[1278] who seems to have celebrated it under the name of nepenthè. The Spartan soldiers appear to have made considerable use of the poppy-head;[1279] but whether for the same purpose as the Rajpoots of modern India, I do not pretend to determine. Persons desirous of obtaining frightful and dismal dreams[1280] could always gratify their wishes by eating leaks or lentils, or the seeds of the great bind-weed,[1281] mixed with dorycnion. We may mention by the way, that the ancients understood well the doctrine of the circulation of the blood.[1282]

1163. Aristoph. Problem. xxiii. 15.

1164. Ῥαφανέλαιον. Dioscor. i. 45.

1165. Κίκινον ἔλαιον.—Κικι, οἱ δὲ σήσαμον ἄγριον, οἱ δὲ, σέσελι Κύπριον. Dioscor. iv. 164.

1166. Dioscor. i. 99. Cf. Herod. 179.

1167. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 60. Athen. x. 25.

1168. Dioscor. iv. 117.

1169. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 7. 4. Plin. xviii. 10.

1170. Poll. i. 229, seq.

1171. The same torch is still in use in Circassia. J. S. Bell, Journal of a residence in Circassia, ii. 69.

1172. Athen. xvi. 61. Cf. Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 48. t. i. p. 343.

1173. Sch. Aristoph. Vesp. 1373. Bœttiger. Fur. pl. 2. Barthelémy, Anacharsis, ii. 330. Goguet. iii. 391. Cf. Gitone, Il Costume, tav. 63. Zoëga, Bassi Rilievi, tav. 14.

1174. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 3. i. Cf. Sch. Aristoph. Acharn. 189. 643.

1175. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iii. 7. 6. Dutens, Orig. des Découvertes, &c. p. 183. Bell, Resid. in Circassia, ii. 30. Beckmann, ii. 434.

1176. Dutens, p. 194, sqq.

1177. Philost. Vit. Apoll. Tyan. ii. 33. iii. 13. Themist. Orat. 27. p. 337.

1178. Dioscor. v. 180. Theoph. de Lapid. § 63.

1179. Dioscor. v. 176. Beckmann, iii. 245. Theoph. de Lap. § 62. Plin. xxxv. 56, seq.

1180. Theoph. de Lapid. § 62, seq. Plin. xxviii. 53. 77. xxxi. 46.

1181. Beckmann, i. 60.

1182. Dioscor. v. 109. Theoph. de Lap. 58.

1183. Beckmann, iv. 120. 111. 117.

1184. Dioscor. v. 182.

1185. Suid. v. κωλιάδος κεραμῆες, t. i. p. 1511. b. Paus. vi. 26. 11. Herodot. iv. 191. 194. vii. 68, who says, it was also used by certain people in painting their bodies.

1186. Dioscor. v. 122. 121. On the earths and ochres of the ancients, see Sir Humphrey Davy, in the Philosophical Transactions, 1815, pt. i. p. 97, seq.

1187. Theoph. de Lapid. § 53.

1188. Dioscor. v. 113. Plin. xxviii. 24. xxix. 33. xxxv. 14.

1189. Luc. Alexand. § 21.

1190. Dioscor. v. 183. i. 93. Plin. xxxv. 25.

1191. Dioscor. iii. 26.

1192. Luc. adv. Indoct. § 16. By the odour of this oil the books of Numa were said, by tradition, to have been preserved for many generations. “Mirabantur alii, quomodo illi libri durare potuissent: ille (Hemina) ita rationem reddebat: lapidem fuisse quadratum circiter in mediâ arcâ vinctum candelis quoquo versus. In eo lapide insuper libros impositos fuisse, propterea arbitrari eos non computruisse. Et libros cedratos fuisse: propterea arbitrarier tineas non tetigisse.” Plin. Nat. Hist. xiii. 27. To the virtues of this oil Vitruvius also bears testimony. “Quæ unguntur cedrio, ut libri à tineis et carie non læduntur.” ii. 9. In the above passage of Pliny, Hardouin reads “libros citratos,” and supposes the naturalist to mean that citron-leaves were folded in the manuscript: “quorum hæc propria dos, ut arceant animalium noxia, hoc est, tineas.” Cf. Plin. Nat. Hist. xii. 7. But as the citron was not introduced into Greece or Italy until several centuries after the age of Numa, it is very clear that “cedratos” must remain in the text of Pliny.

1193. Diog. Laert. ii. 31. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 192. 643. Athen. ii. 75, seq. Dioscor. v. 21. Plat. De Rep. vi. p. 404.

1194. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 629.

1195. Ἀνώδυνον τε ἐστὶ καὶ ὑγιείνον· καὶ ὄρεξιν κίνει. Dioscor. ii. 189.

1196. Δράβη. Dioscor. ii. 187.

1197. Id. ii. 191.

1198. Λιγυστικὸν. Dioscor. iii. 58.

1199. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 680.

1200. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 737. Athen. ii. 45.

1201. Dioscor. ii. 205.

1202. Id. iii. 53.

1203. Id. ii. 167.

1204. Poll. vi. 61.

1205. Athen. ii. 76. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 891.

1206. Dioscor. iii. 34.

1207. Id. ii. 190.

1208. Beckmann, History of Inventions, ii. 122, sqq.

1209. See, on this subject, Dissen. ad Pind. Pyth. iii. 47. 51. I may here, however, by the way, remark, that while the free citizens were attended by physicians of their own rank, there were likewise servile practitioners who prescribed for the diseases of slaves. Plat. De Leg. iv. t. vii. p. 362, seq. Cf. Poll. iv. 177, sqq.

1210. Aristot. Poet. c. 22, Rhet. iii. 2.

1211. Luc. adv. Indoct. § 29.

1212. Dioscor. proœm. p. 4.

1213. On the primitive instruments of surgery see Goguet, Origine des Loix. t. ii. p. 17.

1214. Beckmann, History of Inventions, iii. 160.

1215. Poll. iv. 181.

1216. Dioscorides, however, who mentions this work, is far from speaking of the plan with praise: ἥμαρτον δὲ καὶ περὶ τὴν τάξιν· οἱ μὲν ἀσυμφύλους δυνάμεις συγκρούσαντεσ· οἱ δὲ κατὰ στοιχεῖα ἀναγράψαντες. διέζευξαν τῆς ὁμογενείας τὰ τε γένη καὶ τὰς ἐνεργείας αὐτῶν, ὡς διὰ τοῦτο ἀσυμμνημόνευτα γίνεσθαι. Proœm. p. 2.

1217. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 15. 3, sqq.

1218. Dioscor. iv. 157. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 8. 5.

1219. Κυνόσβατον. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 8. 5.

1220. Dioscor. iii. 53.

1221. King Attalus, desirous not to have far to reach in the matter of poisons, cultivated a great variety of them with his own hands in the royal gardens, such as hyoscyamus, hellebore, hemlock, aconite, and dorycnion, of whose virtue and qualities he obtained a thorough knowledge by experiments. Plut. Demet. § 20.

1222. Παιωνία. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 8. 6.

1223. Μανδράγορας. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 8. 8.

1224. Dioscor. iv. 151.

1225. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 8. 5, sqq. The spleen-wort, (ἀσπλήνον) when designed to produce sterility was collected on a dark night: ἀσελήνου δὲ νύκτος φασι δεῖν αὐτὴν ὀρύσσειν εἰς ἀτόκιον. Dioscor. iii. 151.

1226. Cf. Poll. iv. 177.

1227. See a witty disquisition on charms in Luc. Philopseud. § 7, and a list of medicinal plants introduced into remedies for the gout. Tragopodag. 138, seq.

1228. Dioscor. iii. 105. Another mode of repelling contagious disorders was to cause verses to be written by soothsayers on the door. Luc. Alexand. § 36. Fevers were also cured in some places by touching miraculous statues, as that of the wrestler Polydamas at Olympia, or that of Theagenes, at Thasos. Deor. Concil. § 12. A sea-onion was planted before dwelling houses as a charm. Theoph. Hist. Plant. vii. 13. 4.

1229. Dioscor. iii. 71.

1230. Δύναμιν δὲ ἔχει (κρόκινον) θερμαντικὴν, ὑπνωτικὴν, ὅθεν πολλάκις ἐπὶ φρενετικῶν ἁρμόζει καταβρεχόμενον, ἢ ἀποσφραινόμενον, ἦ καὶ κατα μυζωτηρων διαχριόμενον. Dioscor. i. 64.

1231. Dioscor. iv. 151. Apollod. ii. 2. 2.

1232. Luc. Alexan. § 47. Dioscor. ii. 202.

1233. Dioscor. i. 119.

1234. Λιβανωτις. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 11. 10. Dioscor. iii. 87. “In insulis Græcis rariùs in Melo legit.” Sibth. Flor. Græc. tab. 14. “In Zacintho, nec non in Bœotia.” D. Hawkins.

1235. Dioscor. ii. 207.

1236. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 16. 1.

1237. Dioscor. i. 81. Cf. Cels. ii. 33. Pills of wax were given to nurses to prevent the thickening of the milk. Dioscor. ii. 105. We have already remarked on the exuberance of milk in Greek women. Nevertheless the opinion prevailed that one nurse could not suckle two children: οὐδὲ δύο βρέφη ὑπὸ τροφοῦ μιᾶς ἐκτρεφόμενα Geopon. v. 13. 4. The stone Galactites was worn round the neck by superstitious nurses in order to increase their milk. Plin. viii. 16. xxxvii. 10. Vigenère, Imagen. de Philostrate, p. 576.

1238. Ἡμιόνιον. Theoph. Hist. | Plant. ix. 18. 7.

1239. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 18. 10.

1240. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 15. 4. The belief was prevalent, however, that milk at all times was a species of medicine. Thus when Timagoras accepted, among other things, eighty cows from the king of Persia, with herdsmen to take care of them, he pretended that he had need of their milk on account of the delicacy of his health: ὧς δὴ πρὸς ἀῤῥωστίαν τινὰ γάλακτος βοείου δεόμενος. Plut. Pelopid. § 30.

1241. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 14. 1.

1242. Dioscor. in proœm. p. 4.

1243. Dioscor. i. 23.

1244. Id. i. 141.

1245. Id. ii. 205.

1246. Id. i. 122.

1247. Ξυρὶς, Iris fœtidissima. Dioscor. iv. 22.

1248. Πτέρις. Dioscor. iv. 186.

1249. Dioscor. iii. 163. A plaster of fresh laurel leaves was thought to produce the same effect. i. 106.

1250. As a protection against musquitos the Greeks we find were accustomed to anoint their bodies with oil which had been flavoured with wormwood. Dioscor. iii. 26.

1251. Dioscor. i. 13.

1252. Id. i. 91. 155.

1253. Id. i. 177.

1254. Id. ii. 13.

1255. Id. ii. 12.

1256. Id. ii. 18.

1257. Hazelquist, Travels, p. 221.

1258. Πταρμικὴ. Dioscor. ii. 192.

1259. Τὰ δὲ ἀπο τῶν καττυμάτων παλαιὰ δέρματα, κεκαυμένα καὶ λεία καταπλασσόμενα, πυρίκαυστα καὶ παρατρίμματα καὶ τὰ ἐξ ὑποδημάτων θλίμματα θεραπεύει. Dioscor. ii. 51.

1260. Dioscor. v. 130.

1261. Id. iii. 53.

1262. Dioscor. iv. 150.

1263. Χαμαιλέων λευκὸς ... ἀποκτείνει καὶ κύνας καὶ ὗας καὶ μύας, σὺν ἀλφίτῳ πεφυραμένη, καὶ ὑδρελαίῳ διεθεῖσα. Dioscor. iii. 10.

1264. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 8. 4.

1265. Theophrast. Hist. Plant. ix. 16. 7, seq. Cf. Sext. Empir. Pyrrh. Hypot. l. i. p. 17. b.

1266. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 17. 1.

1267. See on Scythian slow poison, Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 15. 2. Among the Romans the lepus marinus (the aplysia depilens of Linnæus) was sometimes used as a secret poison, as we find from the example of Domitian, who employed it in removing his brother Titus. Δυοὶν δὲ ἐτοῖν μετὰ τὸν πατέρα τὴν ἀρχὴν κατασχόντα, ὑπὸ τοῦ θαλαττίου λαγὼ ἀποθανεῖν. τὸν δὲ ἰχθὺν τοῦτον, παρέχεσθαι χυμοὺς ἀποῤῥήτους, ὑπὲρ πάντα τὰ ἐν τῇ θαλάττῃ καὶ γῇ ἀνδροφόνα. καὶ Νέρωνα μὲν ἐμποιῆσαι τοῖς ἐαυτου ὄψοις τὸν λαγὼν τοῦτον ἐπὶ τοὺς πολεμιωτάτους, Δομετιανὸν δὲ ἐπὶ τὸν ἀδελφὸν Τῖτον, οὐ τὸ ξὺν ἀδελφῷ ἄρχειν δεινὸν ἡγούμενον, ἀλλὰ τὸ ξὺν πράῳ τε καὶ χρηστῷ. Philost. Vit. Apoll. Tyan. vi. 32, p. 271. The baneful qualities of this fish are noticed, likewise, by Dioscorides, Alexipharm. 30; by Ælian. de Nat. Animal. ii. 45. xvi. 19, and by Pliny, Nat. Hist. ix. 72. xxxii. 3.

1268. Cf. Beckmann, i. 82.

1269. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 16. 7.

1270. Dioscor. iii. 175.

1271. Theoph. Hist. Plant. ix. 16. 6.

1272. Dioscor. iv. 144.

1273. Id. iii. 43.

1274. Athen. iii. 56. There appears to be no other authority for this custom. Cf. Meurs. Græc. Feriat. iv. p. 183. The poison of a mad dog’s bite was exhausted by the cupping-glass. Celsus, v. 27. 2.

1275. Δύναμιν δὲ ἔχει σηπτικὴν μὲν τῶν ἐμψύχων, φυλακτικὴν δὲ τῶν νεκρῶν σωμάτων. ὄθεν καὶ νεκροῦ ζωήν τινες αὐτὴν ἐκάλεσαν. Dioscor. i. 105.

1276. Dioscor. i. 157.

1277. Συρμαία, Poll. i. 247.

1278. Odyss. δ. 221. Plin. Nat. Hist. xxi. 21. Dutens, p. 183. From a passage in Herodotus there seems reason to suspect, that certain Asiatic nations were already in his time acquainted with the inebriating effects of opium smoke. For, describing the inhabitants of the larger islands found in the Araxes, he relates that they were accustomed to gather together round a fire, and casting the fruit of some unknown tree into the flames to inhale with delight the smoke and effluvia emitted by it, until they experienced all the delight and madness of intoxication, which impelled them to leap about, and dance and sing. i. 202. Among the Scythians, moreover, we find in the same author distinct traces of the use of beng, or hemp-seed. iv. 75.

1279. Thucyd. iv. 26. Celsus, ii. 32. Dioscor. iv. 65.

1280. Dioscor. ii. 129. 179.

1281. Σμίλαξ λεία. Dioscor. iv. 145.

1282. Poll. ii. 46. 214. 216. Plat. Tim. t. vii p. 19, seq. 89, seq. 98.



In spinning and weaving the ancients evidently rivalled us, though without the aid of machinery. As far, indeed, as the former process is concerned, no machinery can rival the human hand, which, from its slight oily exudation[1283] is enabled to communicate superior strength and evenness to the finest threads. Thus in Hindustân muslins were formerly produced, which, laid on the grass and wetted by dew, became invisible.[1284] And there is no reason for doubting that the produce of ancient Greek looms rivalled those of Dakka. The fabrics of Cos[1285] and Tarentum appear, in fact, from the testimony of the ancients, to have floated like a snowy mist around the female form, disclosing its whole contour like a gauze veil.[1286] In flowered and variegated tissues,[1287] too, they attained extraordinary 215excellence. The finest and most brilliant shot stuffs imitating the breast of the dove, flowered cloth of gold, and the weaving of gold wire itself, were known to the ancients. Silk, before that of China[1288] was common in the west, they obtained from the beard of a sea shell; and lawn and cambric and open work, like Brussels or Valenciennes lace, were familiar to them.

Being ignorant of who was the inventor of the art of weaving, they attributed the honour to Athena, who imparted a knowledge of it to Arachnè,[1289] a virgin of Mæonia, afterwards changed into a spider. But spiders were not long the only weavers among the Hellenes, who speedily invented the upright and horizontal looms, which, in after times at least, were constructed from the wood of the andrachnè.[1290]

Among the finest and most elegant fabrics of Greece were those manufactured in the Achæan city of Patræ,[1291] where the women being twice as numerous as the men, would alone appear to have worked in the factories, from which the greater number of the inhabitants, doubtless, derived their livelihood. The flax, from which the fine linen and head-nets[1292] 216of this town were made, was not grown in the neighbourhood, but in the plains of Elis,[1293] where alone, in Greece, the plant attained the highest degree of perfection, not yielding in fineness to the best produced in India, while it was possessed of superior whiteness.[1294] The fine cloths manufactured from it sold for their weight in gold.[1295] Another species of very fine flax was cultivated in the island of Amorgos,[1296] where were likewise manufactured linens of the most beautiful texture, frequently dyed purple, on which account the word Amorgis[1297] has sometimes been supposed to denote a purple stuff, though the fabrics of the island were as often white as of any other colour. In imitation of the Egyptians, they wove a sort of fine napkins, which were evidently used in the same manner as our pocket-handkerchiefs.[1298]

Even from hemp, very superior cloths were produced[1299] in antiquity, especially amongst the Thracians, in whose country this plant was found both in a cultivated and a wild state. It differed very little from flax, except in its superior height and thickness; and the fabrics manufactured from it were not to be distinguished from linen, save by the most 217experienced judges. From hair, too, they both wove and plaited a variety of garments, among which would seem to have been a sort of mantle for ladies.[1300] Sacks, too, were manufactured from the same materials, together with socks, whips, and fishing-lines. The Egyptians, we may observe by the way, wove fine cloths and sails, and made ropes, from the fibre of the papyrus plant,[1301] as the Indians did from a sort of grass or fine rush.[1302]

In the island of Cos existed, from a very early age, the art of rearing silkworms and weaving silk. As these insects, however, fed on the leaves of the pine, the ash, and the oak, the white mulberry not having been yet introduced into Greece, the silk they produced was very different in quality from that of China. The art of unwinding the cocoons and spinning the threads was invented by Pamphila, daughter of Plates,[1303] who thus became the benefactress of her country, whose fabrics were universally admired for their delicacy, fineness, and transparency, since they allowed the whole form and colour of the body to be distinguished through them, like the gauze chemises worn by the Turkish ladies in the recesses of the harem.[1304] Another kind of silk was manufactured by the ancients from the floss-like beard of the pinna marina, or silk-worm of the sea,[1305] found on the coasts of Asia Minor, Sicily, and the Balearic isles. This kind of silk was evidently, at one period, held in the highest estimation, since we find the emperors of Rome bestowing robes of it as a mark of their imperial favour on the satraps of Armenia. In modern times, however, this branch of industry has been almost totally neglected, though very warm and beautiful winter gloves and stockings are still 218manufactured from it at Tarento. A pair of these gloves was considered of sufficient importance to be presented as a gift to Pope Benedict the Fourteenth.[1306]

But not for lightness and fineness only were the silks and other delicate fabrics of the ancients valued. They were variegated[1307] with stripes, lozenges, the figures of birds and other animals, sprigs, flowers,[1308] and stars,[1309] inwoven into their texture, and of the most brilliant and beautiful colours.

Occasionally, moreover, when the ground of the whole tissue was white, a border of fanciful scrolls, leaves, and flowers, intermingling their several tints, extended round the whole robe or mantle, which was sometimes also bedropped with asterisks of gold. Their flowered silks, and cloths of various colours, were worn, not only by ladies in their dresses, but occasionally, also, by vain young men, who thus exposed themselves to the derision of the multitude. Bed-curtains, too, and the hangings of apartments[1310] were of variegated stuffs. In the manufacturing of tapestry[1311] and drapery for the statues and temples of the gods, the greatest possible magnificence and beauty were displayed. Whole years were devoted to the production of a single piece, which exhibited views of landscapes and cities, together with figures of gods, and heroes, and groups of warriors, sometimes arranged in religious processions, at other times engaged in battle, where the scene, the combatants, their armour, their weapons, and the flowing gore were represented by various colours to the life.[1312] In the manufacture of carpets, the Greeks displayed great taste and elegance, whether we regard the figures of animals, trees, or flowers, with 219which they were inwrought, or their pile, softness, and texture.[1313] Many times when they had not been flowered by the hand of the weaver, they were adorned by the ladies themselves with sprigs, and leaves, and figures, in embroidery; sometimes of various bright colours, at others with threads of gold.[1314] Even napkins in Egypt were embroidered with golden flowers,[1315] as both these and all kinds of handkerchiefs still are throughout the East. In Greece, the fine soft vests which warriors[1316] wore beneath their shirts of mail were usually figured with rich embroidery by the females of their family.

It appears to be generally supposed,[1317] that silver threads were not employed until a very recent period, either in weaving or embroidery;[1318] we find 220mention, however, in Philo Judæus,[1319] of purple coverlets inwrought with silver and gold. But at length the love of show and magnificence rose to so high a pitch, that robes were woven entirely of threads of gold.[1320] Ribbons also were manufactured of the same materials, and several fragments of these fabrics have more than once been discovered in cinerary urns at Rome, though the greediness of the finder has almost invariably led to their being melted down.[1321] At a later period stuffs were woven partly of silk or woollen and partly of gold.[1322]

Of gloves[1323] the Greeks made little use, though they must have observed very early, that they were worn by the Persians, and probably by other nations of Asia.[1324] Nay even among their own rustics they would appear to have been in fashion as far back as the heroic ages.[1325] The principal customers, therefore, of the Hellenic glovers were the hedgers and ditchers, woodmen, and actors; for on the stage it was frequently necessary to appear in gloves,[1326] either in order to disguise the colour or augment the size of the hands, or, as in the case of the Furies, to give them the appearance of being furnished with talons like those of the hippogriff.[1327]

Stockings properly so called, were perhaps little known to the Greeks, though we find mention made of certain socks woven from the cotonaceous filaments of a species of river truffle,[1328] which must have resembled them very closely both in form and texture. Besides, we see in works of art representations of this kind of sock reaching nearly to the 221knees, and somewhat loose, which may probably therefore have been woven. But the common sock, like the hat, was of felt,[1329] and usually white,[1330] fitting close to the foot and leg, and chiefly worn by women, with shoes or sandals,[1331] and sometimes in lieu of them,[1332] though in some cases it occupied the same place in the costume of the Greeks as it does in modern times.

The Hellenic cordwainers[1333] appear in every age to have carried on a thriving trade, since all the world, with the exception of a few philosophers, went well shod. Their workshops seem to have been neatly furnished. The shoes already made, whether plain or gilded,[1334] used to be ranged on shelves fixed up against the wall with fanciful brackets, while their lasts, pastepots, pincers, awls,[1335] and other implements, were kept in armories, sometimes furnished with double folding-doors, four or five deep shelves, and extremely elegant in form. Their cutting-boards[1336] were made from the wood of the wild pear-tree which being of a close hard grain kept their knives constantly in edge. Among the Israelites we find mention made of shoes of badger-skins.[1337]

Of the various processes resorted to for tanning, dressing, and dyeing leather,[1338] whether to be worked 222up into clothing, armour, shoes, or parchment, too little by far is known. We are merely informed that, in removing the hair from hides and skins, they made use of the berries of the white briony;[1339] that, in preparing them for receiving any dye or colour, the seeds of the sumach[1340] were employed; and that the bark of the fir-tree and the wood of the alder,[1341] reduced to chips, entered into various preparations for dressing and dyeing.[1342] Fawn-skins among the Thracians were prepared probably with the hair on,[1343] for a sort of buskins,[1344] and the skins of sheep,[1345] and dogs,[1346] beavers,[1347] otters, and badgers, tanned in a variety of ways, sometimes with and sometimes without the hair, were appropriated to the manufacture of various articles of dress. Leather, moreover, was dyed of every bright colour,[1348] purple, scarlet, and crimson, and occasionally gilded or flowered with gold,[1349] for sandals, thongs, and other purposes.

The manufacture of hats and caps,[1350] though a less important branch of industry than among the northern nations of modern times, afforded nevertheless employment to a pretty numerous class of persons. At Athens it was not fashionable in fine weather to wear a hat at all, chiefly, perhaps, because the practice was supposed to hasten the approach of grey hairs;[1351] but in those seasons of the year when sudden 223showers were looked for, cautious persons seldom went abroad without their broad-brim, which being furnished with a long skin thong was suffered to fall back and hang over the shoulders. If they happened to be caught by the rain when not thus provided, they threw, like Strepsiades in the Clouds, a corner of their mantle over the head. These hats were of various shapes,[1352] and manufactured of very different materials; sometimes square or lozenge-formed, like our college-caps: sometimes round with broad leaf[1353] and low basinet crown; sometimes peaked atop with rim curling all round like the bell of the Egyptian lotos. There was another modification of the hat,[1354] fashioned like a limpet-shell, and without a brim, chiefly worn by fishermen and poor operatives, and sometimes also by travellers.[1355]

The cynic, Menippos, however, when making his round through Thebes, in the costume of a Fury, wore a broad-brimmed Arcadian hat, on which were represented the twelve signs of the zodiac.[1356] Among the Macedonians, who in all things affected magnificence, the hats of the courtiers and nobles were purple,[1357] like the tiara of the Persians,[1358] which, however, was furnished with side-flaps, resembling a peacock’s wings. The most common material was felt, though they were likewise made of leather. Caps were ordinarily manufactured of dog, or sheep, or lamb skin.[1359]

But if in some of these branches of the useful arts the Greeks approached, and, perhaps, equalled, the moderns, in another they probably excelled them; I mean in dyeing,[1360] more particularly, that deep crimson, 224or purple, of which Greek and Roman authors so often speak with an admiration bordering on rapture. Winkelmann[1361] is not far wrong in supposing there were two kinds of purple, the one containing a tinge of violet, or sea-blue, produced at Tarentum,[1362] the other resembling our lake, known in antiquity as Tyrian dye. On the origin of this colour the ancients had many legends (for they loved to build a mythos on what they could not explain), from among which we shall select the most poetical. The Tyrian Heracles loved, they say, a nymph, who dwelt somewhere about the sea-coast, and her name, it is added, was Tyros. In visiting this young lady, Heracles, according to the custom of the heroic age, was accompanied by his dog, as we find Telemachos, in the Odyssey. This same dog, not having love to support him, grew hungry by the way, and espying a purple fish upon a rock, with its head protruding from the shell, he seized, and devoured it. On Heracles reaching the residence of the nymph, she observed the muzzle of the animal dyed of a bright purple, and, in the style of a froward beauty, declared she would never again see her lover until he brought her a dress of that colour. Now this hero, as all the world knows, or may learn from the comic poets, was always more remarkable for courage and gluttony than for invention. Love, however, on the present occasion, sharpened his wits. He discovered the fish, turned dyer, and, having produced such an article as the lady required, had the 225honour of being esteemed the inventor of the Tyrian purple.[1363]

The writer to whom we are indebted for this fable, which he related for the amusement of Commodus, has preserved a valuable account of the purple fishery as carried on by the Phœnicians. They fastened, he observes,[1364] a number of small bell-formed baskets, at regular distances, to a long, stout, and tough cable, capable of resisting the action of the sea. These baskets, like the eel-traps of modern times, were surrounded at the mouth with a circle of slender twigs[1365] projecting inward, and almost meeting at the centre, resembling the bottom of a claret bottle, but with an opening through which the fish could easily force its way in, though the twigs closing with a spring behind it prevented its egress. To entice the prey, there was a bait in the basket, which, according to some, was a cockle, according to others, a frog, upon a hook,[1366] so that assurance was made doubly sure. All things thus prepared, the fisherman conveyed the apparatus to a rocky part of the shore, where they let it down, having previously fastened to it a strong cord with a piece of cork at the end, that they might be able to discover and pull it up. Leaving their traps there all night and all the ensuing day, they generally took up the basket full. Then, pounding both shell and flesh together, to prepare it for dyeing they cleansed away all impurities with water, and boiled the whole in a cauldron. The blood, being of an oily nature, melted on coming in contact with the heat and acquired its rich colour. Not always did it assume the same tint, but was sometimes yellow, sometimes a deep violet, and, occasionally, some other shade. Into this whatever was dipped immediately took the tincture of it. 226Nor did it all fade in the sun; but, on the contrary, rejoiced in the rays of light, as it were, its brightness imparting additional brilliance, and heightening the bloom and splendour of its tints.[1367]

Wherever, and by whomsoever, discovered, the purple was known in the time of Moses, who introduced it into the costume of the high priest, and among the ornaments of the tabernacle.[1368] Homer,[1369] too, speaks of purple among the colours worn by his heroes, for example, a large purple pelisse. Iris is denominated “purple;” we have mention, also, of a “purple cloak, of a purple ball wherewith to play;” “purple coverings,” of great beauty, for beds, or seats; “purple carpets;” “purple threads,” where the “sea-purple” is distinctly spoken of.[1370] Again, in another part of the Odyssey, we find it said, that women wove the “purple cloaks.”[1371] The President Goguet has entered into many useful investigations respecting the manner in which the Tyrian dye was used; but at the outset confounds the conchyliatæ vestes with the purple garments, though Pliny, on whom he chiefly relies, constantly distinguishes them. The dye was obtained from several kinds of shell-fish[1372] found in the Mediterranean, the best on the island on which New Tyre was built.[1373] Aristotle, who of all the ancients has best described the purple fish, observes, that there were several species, of which some were of considerable size, such as those caught near Sigeion and Lecton; while those found on the coast of Caria and in the Euripos were small. Generally, he says, such as inhabited bays or arms of the sea were large and rough, and contained a liquid of blackish hue, though 227sometimes it was reddish, and small in quantity. Some of these were a mina, or about seventeen ounces, in weight. Those caught close along shores, or about headlands were usually of small size, but the dye they yielded was of a ruddier tinge. In general, too, it was thought that those found on northern coasts produced a darker, those on southern coasts a ruddier dye.[1374] Purple fisheries were carried on on the coast of Africa, near the island of Menninx, and on the shores of Getulia.[1375] So, likewise, in Europe,[1376] on the coast of Laconia,[1377] whose purple was greatly celebrated; in the Euripos, as we have seen above;[1378] and in the terrible southern bend of Eubœa, beneath the cliffs of Mount Caphareus.[1379] An inferior kind of purple was obtained from the buccinum,[1380] but the genuine dye was produced by the calchè alone. The colour was contained in a white vein about the neck, the remainder of the fish being of no value. To secure, this, however, it was necessary to take the fish alive, for at its death the colour fled. Having been carefully collected, and left to macerate in salt[1381] during three days, it was mixed with a certain quantity of water. The whole was then boiled for ten days in leaden boilers over a slow fire.[1382] After this the wool well washed, cleansed and properly prepared, was dipped into it. Here it was allowed to soak during five hours. It was then taken out, dried, carded, and thrown back, where it was suffered to remain till it imbibed the 228whole of the dye.[1383] To this double-dyed purple the poets often allude. Thus Horace:

Te bis Afro
Murice tinctæ
Vestiunt Lanæ.[1384]

And again where the Phœnician operation is spoken of:

Muricibus Tyriis iteratæ vellera lanæ
Cui properabantur?[1385]

Elsewhere in enumerating the things, wherein the vulgar pride themselves, he once more enumerates purple garments—

Gemmas, marmor, ebur, Tyrrhena sigilla, tabellas,
Argentum, vestes Gætulo murice tinctas,
Sunt qui non habeant, est qui non curat habere.[1386]

It was seldom or never considered sufficient to rely upon one species of fish. Usually several kinds were mingled together;[1387] and to the mixture were added many other ingredients, as nitre, urine, water, salt, and the fucus—a kind of moss—by some writers supposed to be our argol,[1388] found in abundance on the rocky shores of Crete.[1389] The tint produced by this mixture resembled the colour of the amethyst.[1390] For, under the word purple, the ancients included three distinct colours,—the first a deep violet with a black or dusky tinge, designed by Homer, when he speaks of the “purple wave,” or of “purple death.” This was the amethystine shade spoken of as so magnificent by Pliny; produced 229by the calchæ and buccina alone. The second which resembled deep scarlet or crimson, which is the colour of a ripe pomegranate, was the purple of Tyre and Tarentum. The third was the deep blue of the Mediterranean sea, when it begins to be ruffled by the winds; a variety produced by the buccinum alone, and always understood by the word conchyliata.[1391] Near the Isthmus of Darien, a sea-snail has been discovered, which some have supposed to be the murex of the ancients. In dimensions it is about equal to the bee. Being of extremely rare occurrence, the Indian fishermen preserve it, when found, in a vessel of water until they have collected a sufficient quantity for dyeing a piece of stuff. They then, like the ancient Tyrians, pound it shell and all with a smooth stone or something which serves them for a mortar, which as the shell is extremely thin and frail is a task of little labour, and immediately dip the cotton yarn or stuff in the liquor thus obtained. The colour resulting from this operation is the richest purple that can be conceived, which instead of fading by being passed through water grows more lustrous and brilliant the more it is washed. Stuffs dyed in this manner are, as may be supposed, exceedingly costly, and on account of their beauty much coveted by the richest of the Indian women.[1392]

The fucus above-mentioned, found on the shores of Crete, was sometimes employed separately in dyeing fillets, garments, and wool, and the colour thus produced was still more brilliant than that of the purple fish, though no means of fixing it could be discovered.[1393] The purple of Hermione, however, preserved its lustre and freshness for centuries. 230Alexander, for example, found in the royal palace of Susa vast quantities of purple garments dyed at Hermione, which, though they had been laid up nearly two hundred years, exhibited all their pristine bloom and beauty; because, observes the historian, the wool had been previously combed with white oil, and the colour fixed with honey.[1394] Even in Plutarch’s own time garments of equal age were to be seen, the purple of which had preserved its brilliance and splendour undiminished. Nay, a small pot of the dye was discovered at Pompeii which though covered atop with a thick tawny film had preserved all the deep tone and richness attributed to the Tyrian purple by the ancients.

In dyeing scarlet, the ancients made use of kermes[1395] or cochineal, found in several parts of Greece, but imported likewise from various other countries. It was sometimes employed in giving the ground to purple stuffs.[1396] Garments of this colour would appear to have been extremely rare among the Orientals, since the admiration excited in Darius by the scarlet cloak of Syloson, whom he saw walking in the great square of Memphis, can be accounted for only by supposing that he had never beheld the like before;[1397] otherwise he would not have been so captivated by its magnificent colour as to press its wearer to sell it to him in the street. Syloson 231presented him the cloak as a gift; but afterwards, when Darius was king of Persia, he took care to proceed to court and make the circumstance known, upon which the generous prince overwhelmed him with his favours. This kind of dye appears to have been known in Greece from the remotest antiquity, since Simonides supposes that even the signal sail given by Ægeus to Theseus in his expedition to Crete was of a scarlet colour.[1398] Sardis was celebrated for its scarlet,[1399] whence the proverb,—to be dyed with the tincture of Sardis,—for, to be beaten black and blue. The ancients, however, generally mistook the insect for the fruit of the holm-oak, upon whose leaves it feeds; a circumstance which may be regarded as very extraordinary, when it is remembered that both the insect and the tree were daily under their eyes.

The wool of sheep is said by the Greek poets to have been dyed red on their backs by eating the madder plant.[1400] The wool of brown sheep was spun, woven, and worn of its natural colour, as it is still by the rustics of several European countries. Dyes of every other colour were likewise known to the ancients; as bright flame and saffron-colour, pink, green, and russet grey;[1401] deep and sky-blue, produced by woad;[1402] and red by madder.[1403] The Phrygian dyers made use of a kind of mineral[1404] obtained from Cappadocia; and wool was sometimes dyed with a decoction of beans.[1405] Among the Egyptians, linens, muslins, and all kinds of cloths were painted with flowers and figures, in a great variety of colours;[1406] which was the case, also, among the Massagetæ, who 232impressed on their fine woollen cloths a multitude of patterns, which preserved their brilliance unfading to the last.[1407]

As many kinds of woollens are wholly spoiled by common washing,[1408] they were regularly, when soiled, carried by the Greeks to the fullers,[1409] whose mill and trade are supposed to have been invented by Nycias of Megara.[1410] These artisans made use of numerous earths and other substances in their operations; such as gypsum,[1411] the Cimolian earth and the Chian, the Lemnian, the Sardian, the Umbrian, the Samian, the Tymphæan, and the Chalastræan.[1412] Wool, previous to being spun, was cleansed by soap-wort.[1413] In washing clothes they commonly made use of a lye prepared with lime or wood ashes.[1414] Sponges were blanched in the following manner:[1415] over such as were extremely soft they sprinkled a quantity of salt-fish, collected from the rocks, after which they were carefully washed, and laid in the summer sun with their hollow part uppermost. They were rendered still whiter by being saturated with salt froth or sea-water, and exposed during a succession of calm summer nights to the moon’s rays.

The extent and importance of the Grecian fisheries[1416] may be inferred from the prodigious quantities of fish eaten in every part of Greece; for although they knew nothing in antiquity of those long fasts during which the members of the Greek church in modern times, ceasing to prey upon the dumb inhabitants of terra firma, let loose their voracity against those of the sea, they were no less 233partial to this kind of food than their descendants,[1417] as will have been seen from a preceding portion of this work. Fisheries were accordingly established on nearly every part of the coast of Hellas, as well as of those islands and distant colonies of which she became mistress.

Thus a celebrated lamprey[1418] fishery existed on the Faro of Messina, an eel-fishery at Syracuse,[1419] another 234for taking the purple fish, on the eastern coast of Eubœa, a second on the shores of Laconia, a third at Sigæum in Asia Minor, and a fourth in the neighbourhood of Tyre and Sidon.[1420] Whales and dolphins were caught in the Mediterranean, and in the Black Sea; thunnies in the same sea, on the Bosporos, in the sea of Marmora, in the Hellespont, in the Adriatic, and in nearly all the eastern parts of the Mediterranean. Many kinds of smaller fish afforded employment to numerous bodies of men in the gulfs and bays of Attica and the Peloponnesos; and flourishing sponge-fisheries were carried on along the coast of Crete, and in several other parts of the Archipelago.[1421]

In seas frequented by sharks, sponge-fishers necessarily incurred much risk. They therefore carefully observed every circumstance denoting the absence of danger, as for example, the appearance of the anthias,[1422] which is supposed never to be seen in the neighbourhood of any voracious sea-monster; for which reason it obtained from the Greeks the name of the Sacred Fish.

The divers engaged in this trade made use, moreover, of many contrivances to diminish the toil and hazard of their dangerous calling. Sometimes they poured oil[1423] upon the waves, which rendered them at once more tranquil and translucent and enabled them the better to carry on their operations at the bottom of the sea. They made likewise the first step towards the invention of the diving-bell, by descending with a large vessel turned upside down upon their heads, taking care that its edges sank into the water at the same instant, by which means 235they carried along with them a quantity of air, and were enabled to continue a considerable space of time beneath the surface.[1424] A diver and his daughter are said to have performed good service for their country during the Median war; for, descending into the sea during a tempest, they loosened the anchors of many Persian vessels, and thus set them adrift to perish by the weather; in remembrance of which services, a statue was erected to both father and daughter at Delphi.[1425]

The business of fishing was pursued in much the same manner as in modern times. Great numbers of smacks,[1426] of all dimensions, crowded the narrow seas between the islands and the main, making sometimes pretty long voyages, and taking passengers to augment their gains.[1427] These, moreover, formed the principal nurseries for the Grecian navies,[1428] particularly those of Athens, which consequently were manned, in the better ages of the republic, by the hardiest and most expert seamen in the ancient world. They employed in their operations both the harpoon and various kinds of large nets;[1429] and the ease and rapidity with which they filled their vessels may be inferred from the accounts given in modern times of the vast shoals of fish of all species and dimensions which in spring time collect 236in the eastern extremity of the Mediterranean, and pour in such multitudes into the narrow stream of the Dardanelles and the Bosporos,[1430] that, with one sweep of a net, the fishermen are enabled to fill whole skiffs, while they may be taken by the hand from the shores, killed like birds with stones, caught with unbaited hooks, or by the women in common baskets, let down by ropes from the windows of such houses in Constantinople[1431] as happen to stand on the beach. Elsewhere the fishermen made use of stop-nets in rivers or along the sea-coasts where the water for some way out was shallow. Various kinds of baskets,[1432] also, they had recourse to, together with the rod and line. Even that barbarous method, still in many parts of Europe put in practice by the vulgar, of poisoning the waters, was known to the Greeks, who, for this purpose, cast into streams or ponds the pounded leaves of the Euphorbia Platyphylla.[1433]

On the land-locked seas, also, and lakes, and rivers, they pursued that striking and romantic species of fishery[1434] carried on at night,[1435] in which a 237flaming torch held at the boats’ bows allures the fish to the surface, where by their bright eyes and glittering scales shining through the transparent water, they directed the aim of the fisherman’s trident.[1436] A small fleet of this kind of boats dispersed over a smooth sea under the lea of woody headlands or rocky shores, each with its bright red light, gliding noiselessly[1437] hither and thither, discloses a scene of singular beauty to the imagination. In the paintings of Herculaneum,[1438] we find a landscape representing a group of fishermen immediately before day, when the dusky shadows are beginning to be dispersed by the first straggling rays of light which barely enable us to distinguish the boats, the nets, the rods, the fishermen themselves, and the picturesque shore on which they are at work.

One of the most profitable of the Greek fisheries was that of the thunny, which commenced about the rising of the Pleiades and terminated shortly after the setting of Arcturus.[1439] As this animal always moves about in troops, and swims near the surface of the water, which it visibly disturbs in its progress, at the same time blowing sportively, and uttering a loud noise, the fishermen, on the shores frequented by it, constantly stationed a number of watchmen along the beach, some perched aloft on the summits of cliffs, others on detached rocks, 238rising out of the waves, or in trees, or on the top of masts set up at certain distances along the coast, that they might give notice of the approach of the thunnies.[1440] As soon as the signal was given the fishermen pushed out with their barks, making a wide circuit, so as to take the fish in flank. Then letting down their long nets furnished with leaden weights to sink them, and with cords[1441] wherewith to draw them up, they formed themselves into a semicircle, which rapidly narrowing round the shoal drove them towards the land, by which means the greatest number were either taken in the nets, or speared by tridents.[1442] Respecting one of these fishing stations, on the coast of Cypros, a very romantic anecdote is related.[1443] The inhabitants we are told, having sculptured a marble lion, which they adorned with emerald eyes, set it up on the tomb of a prince of the country named Hermias,[1444] upon 239an eminence overlooking the sea. The splendour of the emerald, penetrating through the waves, scared away the thunnies, which in truth are remarkable for their timidity, so that the fishermen of that part of the island must unquestionably have been ruined had they not discovered the property of their lion’s optics, and substituted in lieu of the emerald, eyes less terrible to the pusillanimous herds of Thetis. A circumstance almost equally extraordinary is related of the strait by which the stream of the Bosporos disgorges itself into the Propontis. Here they say a rock of marvellous whiteness is discovered on the Asiatic side through the waves in the neighbourhood of Chalcedon, which by its brightness scares away the thunnies, both in their way to and from the Black Sea. The ancient naturalists remark, that the thunny in this part of its migrations observes steadily one course, keeping generally on the Asiatic side in the ascent to the Pontus, where, excepting the seal and the dolphin, nothing destructive to fish is found, and, after making the circuit of its shores, returning to the Ægæan close along the coast of Europe.

This proceeding they account for by supposing that, of its two dull eyes, the right sees best, and that, in obedience to the guidance of this peeper, it makes the circuit of the sea in the manner stated. A better reason may be, that its peculiar food[1445] is most 240plentiful on the Asiatic coast in spring, and on the European in autumn, if, after all, we are to regard the fact itself as well established.[1446] In this traject, however, it seems in reality, for some cause or another, to shun the vicinity of the City of the Blind, which constituted, perhaps, one of the principal causes of its inferiority to Byzantium. Nevertheless, a very delicate species of pelamys,[1447] caught there, was known in the commerce of the ancient world, and transported to all parts of Greece.

We have remarked above, that the taking of the thunny commenced in spring, when it appears to have been in excellent condition, and very highly prized. During winter, whatever may have been its quality, it was not to be caught, since it retired to the depths of the Ægæan, beyond the reach of nets or tridents. In the heat of summer it was rendered lean and flabby by the persecution of a kind of worm, which, insinuating itself beneath the fins,[1448] harassed it incessantly. But, towards autumn, being delivered by nature from this pest, it again became plump, and was esteemed excellent eating. The growth of this fish is extremely rapid, more especially in the Black Sea, where, amid the vast quantities of mud and slime brought down by the numerous rivers, it finds in great abundance the food most congenial to its taste.[1449] The thunny, properly so called, is at present[1450] scarce along the coast of Mingrelia, where, by the ancients, it is said to have 241abounded, which renders it not improbable, that they included under this name more than one species of sturgeon, a fish still found in great numbers in those parts of the Black Sea.

The method of taking the pelamys[1451] has been graphically described by an ancient writer. A well-appointed and swift bark, putting to sea with her rowers, dashed out as rapidly as possible into deep water, upon which one of the crew, stationed at the stern, let down the tackle. This consisted of two strong ropes, one on either side, to which were attached a number of small cords, each with a hook at the end, baited with the Laconian purple fish, and garnished with a feather of the sea-mew, which, glancing hither and thither in the currents of the sea, assisted in attracting the eye of the pelamydes. The boat then traced various lines upon the surface of the deep, now skimming in this direction, now in that, until it was followed by a shoal of fish, which, coming up with it, voraciously gorged the baits until not a single hook was left without its prey. Upon this the rowers desisted from their toil, and, pulling up the ropes, generally found their boat laden with the take.[1452]

The manner in which the thunny is taken on the coast of Chili may, perhaps, be worth mentioning for the sake of comparison. As soon as the Indians discover a shoal of these fish near the shore they put to sea on large sealskin floats inflated, like bladders, with air, carrying with them a sharp-pronged trident, fastened to a tough and very long rope. They then approach and pierce the fish, which, immediately upon being struck, darts out to sea with prodigious celerity, the Indian, meanwhile, rapidly uncoiling his rope till the strength of the thunny is spent through loss of blood, after which he draws 242back his prey, and, raising it upon his float, returns to the shore rejoicing.[1453]

It is probable that, in this manner of fishing, the Indian draws near the thunny while asleep,[1454] as we find to have been often the practice among the Greek fishermen, who when they went forth at night, at which time the thunny is exceedingly drowsy, were attracted towards their prey by the white belly of the fish sleeping quietly on the surface of the water. Many other kinds of fish also appear to have been taken while asleep, notwithstanding that in general their slumbers are brief. Thus flat-fish, nestling in the sand or mud, were discovered through the transparent water, and pierced with the trident. So likewise the sea-dog, the gilthead, and the mullet, were taken by day, with the trident, while asleep; otherwise it has been thought they could scarcely be touched by this instrument. The skate and other fishes of the Selachian tribe were sometimes found to sleep so soundly, that they could be taken by the hand.[1455]

On the shores of the Chelidonian isles there was a celebrated anthias fishery which was carried on in a peculiar manner. The fishermen putting to sea in their bark, and clad in garments of a sober colour, sailed backward and forward daily in the same place and at the same hour. By this means, the anthias, which in great numbers frequents that part of the sea, became accustomed to the sight of the vessel, and by degrees approached it, one of the shoal generally preceding the rest. To him the fishermen threw out something of which the anthias is fond, and continued to do so until the fish became so tame that they would eat food from 243his hand. A hook was then introduced into the bait, and as the fish crowded around the bark in prodigious multitudes, they were caught rapidly, and handed to a second person, who threw them into the bottom of the boat upon heaps of soft rags, lest by their bounding and struggling they should make a noise and frighten away their companions. The shadow of the boat assisted in concealing this manœuvre from the fish. It was considered necessary to spare the anthias which first approached, since, being probably a kind of leader, his disappearance instantly put all the rest to flight.[1456] Sometimes it is said multitudes of these fish were collected round the boat by the striking of two bits of wood together in the manner of castanets.[1457] The Milesians[1458] possessed close to their city a very lucrative fishery chiefly of the sea-dog,[1459] which there attained a larger size than anywhere else. This is supposed to have been owing to an extensive lagoon of fresh water, having however with the sea a channel of communication through which these fish found their way in, where they grew tame and fat, and were taken in great numbers.[1460]

At a point on the gulf of Smyrna, a productive fishery is at present carried on in a very ingenious manner. The shore being low and level, a continuous sweep of reed-fences is stretched along, so as to enclose a considerable space of water, and furnished at intervals with gates, which are raised occasionally for letting in the shoals. The avenues are then closed, and the fish taken with facility. On the coast of China a similar fishery is found, lines of mats being substituted for reeds.[1461]

244There was a small, but apparently productive, fishery in the canton of Marathon.[1462] The right of fishing in the salt stream of the Rheitæ was secured by law to the priests of Eleusis,[1463] whose city was famous for the scombros as well as for soles or turbots.[1464]

1283. The whole of the manufacture in India is by hand-spinning, consequently there is a greater tension, from the moisture which the hand gives them, than can be had from anything in the shape of machinery; a fine yarn can be produced by hand-spinning “from a short staple, which frame-spinning will not touch at all.” Report from the Lords, July 8, 1830, p. 316.

1284. Tavernier relates, “that the ambassador of Shah Sefi, on his return from India, presented his master with a cocoa-nut, set with jewels, containing a muslin turban, sixty covits, or thirty English yards, in length, so exquisitely fine, that it could scarcely be felt by the touch.” The Hindoos, vol. i. p. 188.

1285. Winkel. Hist. de l’Art. i. 498.

1286. Athen. xii. 23. Aristoph. Lysist. 48. Poll. vii. 76.

1287. To these an allusion is made in the following passage of Plato: ὥσπερ ἱμάτιον ποικίλον πᾶσιν ἄνθεσι πεποικιλμένον, οὕτω καὶ αὔτη πᾶσιν ἤθεσι πεποικιλμένη καλλίστη ἂν φαίνοιτο. De Repub. viii. t. vi. p. 401. Cf. Poll. iii. 34. Winkelmann, i. 500. Athen. ii. 30.

1288. Paus. vi. 266, sqq. Aristoph. Hist. Animal. v. 19, p. 138. Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 26, seq. Gibbon, t. vii. p. 90, seq. Dapper, p. 266.

1289. Goguet, i. 266. Plut. Nic. § 9.

1290. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 7. 7. The stem of the bastard-saffron (κνῆκος) was used as a spindle by the women of remote antiquity. vi. 14. 3.

1291. Pausan. vii. 21. 14. Cf. Dutens, Origine des Découvertes, p. 285. Herod. ii. 105.

1292. Foës. Œconom. Hippoc. v. κεκρύφαλος. p. 202. These head-nets were purple among the Spartans. Athen. xv. 28. The Grecian ladies, it would appear, sometimes wore upon their heads cauls of fine skin, probably semi-transparent, which obtained the name of πομφόλυγες. Mœris, p. 206. Bekk. In a former part of this work, I have supposed this word, where it occurs in Pollux, to signify beads, because water-bubbles, which transparent beads resemble, were so called. Etym. Mag. 682. 10. Suid. v. πομφόλ. t. ii. p. 565. d. Martial alludes to the cauls above-mentioned in the following verses:

Fortior et tortos servat vesica capillos,
Et mutat Latias spumâ Batavâ comas.
Epigram. viii. 23. 19.

1293. Not as Mr. Bœckh supposes in Achaia, this name signifying Greece in general. It grew, observes Pliny, circa Elim in Achaia. Nat. Hist. xix. 4. Bœckh. i. 142.

1294. Paus. vi. 26. 6. v. 5. 2. vii. 21. 14. Winkel. Hist. de l’Art, i. 498. Sixteen matrons wove the peplos of Hera in Elis. Meurs. Gr. Fer. iii. 130, sqq.

1295. Quaternis denariis scripula ejus permutata quondam, ut auri reperio. Plin. Nat. Hist. xix. 4.

1296. Suid. v. Ἀμοργὶς. Aristoph. Lysist. 150, et Schol. This was the rate at which silk was afterwards sold, as we learn from an anecdote of Aurelian. “Vestem holosericam neque ipse in vestiario suo habuit, neque alteri utendam dedit. Et quum ab eo uxor sua peteret, ut unico pallio blatteo serico uteretur, ille respondit, absit ut auro fila pensentur: libra enim auri tunc libra serici fuit.” Vopisc. Vit. Aurelian, cap. xlv.

1297. See Dapper, Description des Iles de l’Archipel. p. 184.

1298. For which the old man substitutes a fox’s tail. Aristoph. Eq. 906, et Schol.

1299. Poll. vii. 73. Herod. iv. 74.

1300. Hemst. ad Poll. x. 32. Cf. ii. 24.

1301. Herod. vii. 12.

1302. Id. iii. 98. Comm. on Poll. vii. 76.

1303. Aristot. Hist. Animal. v. 19. Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 26.

1304. Lady Montague’s Works, t. ii. p. 191.

1305. Shaw, Travels in Barbary. Winkelmann, i. 499.

1306. Winkelmann, Hist. de l’Art. i. 499. Æschyl. Agamem. 855.

1307. Plut. Aristid. § 16. Winkelmann, Hist. de l’Art, i. 492. Herod. vii. 67.

1308. Plat. de Repub. t. vi. p. 401.

1309. Athen. xiii. 45. xii. 50. Cf. Winkelmann, i. 499. Gitone, Il Costume Antico e Moderno di tutti i Popoli, t. i. p. 94. Tav. 15.

1310. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. p. 172. Athen. xv. 42.

1311. Hom. Il. γ. 125, sqq.

1312. Cf. Hom. Il. ζ. 289. 295.

1313. See Book III. chap. ii.

1314. One of the most extraordinary productions of the Grecian loom seems to have been that magnificent chlamys which was weaving for king Demetrius at the period of his overthrow. It had been, we are told, a long time in hand, and represented in one vast picture both the face of the earth, and heaven with all its constellations. But it was never completed, none of the succeeding sovereigns of Macedon possessing the gorgeous taste of the son of Antigonos. Plut. Demet. § 41. Next perhaps to this in curious workmanship may be reckoned that rich mantle fifteen cubits in length, which the Sybarite Alcisthenes exhibited on Mount Lacinium during the festival of Hera, which was frequented by all the people of Italy. Dionysios, the elder, obtaining possession of this garment, sold it to the Carthaginians for a hundred and twenty talents. It was of a rich sea purple colour, and surrounded on all sides by a border containing the figures of animals, the upper row consisting of those of Susiana, the lower of those of Persia Proper. In the middle appeared an assembly of the gods—Zeus, Hera, Themis, Athena, Apollo, and Aphroditè. At either end stood a figure of Alcisthenes himself with a representation, probably symbolical of the city of Sybaris. All these figures were the produce of the loom, and not of the needle. Aristot. de Mirab. Auscult. t. xvi. p. 199, seq. Athen. xii. 58.

1315. Poll. iv. 116. Athen. ix. 79. v. 28. Herod. ii. 122. Lucian. Amor. § 36, sqq.

1316. Cf. Herod. vii. 61. ix. 76. 109.

1317. By Beckmann, for example, History of Inventions, ii. 217, and Salmasius, ad Vopisc. p. 394, and ad Tertull. de Pallio, p. 208.

1318. Cf. Lucian. Amor. § 38, sqq.

1319. Ed. Mangey, ii. 478.

1320. Winkelmann, i. 503. Huet, Hist. of Comm. p. 33. Cf. Athen. xii. 5, sqq.

1321. Winkel. Hist. de l’Art, i. 503.

1322. Id. i. 504.

1323. Cf. Poll. ii. 152.

1324. Xenoph. Cyrop. viii. 8.

1325. Odyss. ω. 229. Paccichelli, de Chirothecis, in p. 238.

1326. Luc. Jup. Tragœd. § 41.

1327. See an example, Mus. Chiaramont, tav. 16. Museo Real Borbonico, tav. 32. 50.

1328. Theoph. Hist. Plant. viii. 13. 8.

1329. Theoph. Hist. Plant. vii. 13. Athen. ii. 67. Plin. Nat. Hist. xix. 10. Poll. i. 148. ii. 196. Some persons wore in winter a lambskin covering for the legs and feet. Sch. Aristoph. Nub. 720.

1330. Lucian. Rhet. Præcept. § 15.

1331. Schol. Aristoph. Lysist. 417. Acharn. 299.

1332. Constant, v. πῖλοι. Antich. di Ercol. t. ii. p. 185.

1333. Poll. vii. 80-96. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 299. Eq. 321. 709. Vesp. 103. Athen. iii. 56. On the Cretan Cothurn. Poll. vii. 193. v. 18. Bœttig. Les Furies, p. 35. There was an expensive sort of Ionian shoe called βαυκίδες. Etym. Mag. 192. 17. Κρηπίδες. Hieron. Mag. Miscell. iii. 3. A pair of these slippers appears to have been a day’s work, and cost in Lucian’s time seven oboloi. Somn. seu Gal. § 22. Herodotus speaks of purple buskins, vii. 76. The women of Thessaly wore wooden shoes. Athen. xiii. 55.

1334. Luc. adv. Indoct. § 6.

1335. Poll. ii. 195. x. 141. Antich. di Ercol. t. i. tav. 35. p. 187.

1336. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 5. 1.

1337. Ezekiel, xvi. 10.

1338. Schol. Aristoph. Av. 259.

1339. Dioscor. iv. 184.

1340. Ῥόος. Dioscor. i. 147.

1341. Theoph. Hist. Plant, iii. 9. 1. 14. 3.

1342. The low oak, which produces the large acorn used in tanning, is now found in abundance in the Troad. Chandler i. 25.

1343. Herod. vii. 75.

1344. Sandals of leather with the hair on are still occasionally observed among the sailors of Greece. Chandler. ii. p. 12.

1345. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 398.

1346. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 269.

1347. Dioscor. ii. 26.

1348. As early as the age of Moses we find mention of rams’-skins dyed red. Exod. xxv. 5.

1349. Poll. vii. 87.

1350. Poll. vii. 171. The President Goguet, however, imagines the Greeks had no hats. v. 440. Nightcaps. Sch. Vesp. 10. Arist. Cf. Antich. di Ercol. t. viii. p. 47. Gitone, Il Cost. Ant. e Mod. di tut. i Pop. t. i. p. 102. pl. 16.

1351. Aristot. de Gen. Animal. v. 1. p. 355.

1352. Dion Chrysost. ii. 67.

1353. Poll. x. 164. Athen. i. 12.

1354. Poll. vii. 124. x. 127, 138. Solerius, de Pileo. c. viii. p. 167.

1355. Solerius, de Pileo. c. viii. p. 167.

1356. Bœttiger. Furies, p. 29, sqq.

1357. Plut. Eumenes. § 8.

1358. Sch. Aristoph. Acharn. 63. Cf. Poll. iv. 154.

1359. Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 269. Poll. iv. 139.

1360. Cf. Plat. Tim. t. vii. 95. De Rep. t. vi. p. 183, seq. Don J. P. Canáls y Martí, sob. la Purp. de los Antiguos. Gibbon, however, considered the ancient purple very inferior to our own: “By the discovery of cochineal, &c., we far surpass the colours of antiquity. Their royal purple had a strong smell, and a dark cast, as deep as bull’s blood—obscuritas rubens (says Cassiodorus, Var. i. 2,) nigredo sanguinea. The president, Goguet, will amuse and satisfy the reader.” Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vii. 90. Note. Goguet will, no doubt, amuse and instruct, but I very much question whether he will satisfy, the reader. When Goguet and Gibbon wrote, the subject was much less understood than it is at present.

1361. Hist. de l’Art. iv. 5. 500, sqq.

1362. Horat. Epist. ii. 1. 207.

1363. Poll. i. 45. sqq. Palæphat. Fragm. ap. Gal. Opuscul. Mytholog. &c. p. 62. Goguet, Origine des Loix. iii. 196. Fab. Column. de Purp. i. 22.

1364. Cf. Pausan. x. 37. 3.

1365. Cf. Poll. i. 97. Plat. Sophist. t. iv. p. 134. Æl. Var. Hist. xiii. 43.

1366. Athen. iii. 33.

1367. Poll. i. 47, sqq.

1368. Exod. xxv. 4, sqq.

1369. Il. ζ. 219. θ. 221. ρ. 547. Odyss. δ. 115. 154. τ. 225. 242. θ. 373. δ. 298. ι. ω. 645. 796. ι. 200. Odyss. υ. 151. Cf. Pind. Pyth. iv. 203. 6.

1370. Odyss. ξ. 53. 306.

1371. Id. ν. 108.

1372. See a representation of the purple fish on a red jasper in Gori, Mus. Florent. ii. pl. 21. fig. 4.

1373. Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 60.

1374. Arist. Hist. Anim. v. 15. p. 128, seq. Vitruv. vii. 13.

1375. Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 60.

1376. There was another purple fishery of considerable note carried on in the Corinthian gulf by the citizens of Bulis, a city of Phocis. Pausan. x. 37. 2. 3. Steph. de Urbib. p. 238. On the modern state of Bulis see Chandler, ii. p. 288.

1377. Pausan. iii. 21. 6.

1378. Pausan. iii. 21. 6.

1379. Dion Chrysost. Orat. vii.

1380. This fish is now abundant on the shores of Naples, where it is commonly eaten. Fab. Column. de Purp. iv. 1.

1381. The proportion of salt was 20 oz. to 1 cwt. of the purple matter. Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 62.

1382. The animal matter mingled with it being constantly skimmed off. Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 62.

1383. Plin. ix. 62. Gog. iii. 20.

1384. Carm. ii. 16. 35, sqq. On this the ancient scholiast quoted by Bentley, says, “Bis tinctæ, dibaphæ vestes preciocissimæ.” Cf. Pompon. Mel. iii. 10. 35, p. 301. Gronov.

1385. Epod. xii. 21, seq.

1386. Epist. ii. 2. 180, seq.

1387. The buccinum, for example, to give the ruddy hue. Fab. Column. de Purp. i. 19. Johan. Daniel. Annot. p. 33. Plin. ix. 37.

1388. Beckmann, i. 59, sqq.

1389. Goguet, iii. 20.

1390. Fab. Column. de Purpura, c. i. § 8.

1391. Dalecamp. ad Plin, ix. 62. t. iii. p. 770. Cf. Winkel. iv. 1. § 14.

1392. Valm. de Bomare. v. Murex, p. 169.

1393. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 6. 5. Another method of dyeing purple prevailed in a district of Asia Minor, where the quality of the springs would appear to have fixed the colour: “The waters of Hierapolis were surprisingly attempered for tinging wool with a colour from roots, rivalling the more costly purples; and were a principal source of the riches of the place.” Chandler, i. p. 270. The learned traveller, who is exceedingly sparing of his authorities, doubtless based his relation on the following passage in Strabo: Ἔστι δὲ καὶ πρὸς, βαφὴν ἐρίων θαυμαστῶς σύμμετρον τὸ κατὰ τὴν Ἱεράπολιν ὕδωρ, ὥστε τὰ ἐκ τῶν ῥιζῶν βαπτόμενα ἐνάμιλλα εἶναι τοῖς ἐκ τῆς κόκκου καὶ ταῖς ἁλουργέσιν. l. xiii. c. iv. t. iii. p. 158.

1394. Plut. Vit. Alex. § 36.

1395. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 6. 9. Cf. Fab. Column. de Purp. i. 13. Don Juan Pablo Canáls Y Martí, Memorias sobra la Purpura de los Antiguos. c. v. Phile, De Animal. Proprietat. c. xliii. p. 172, sqq. appears to describe, though in an indistinct and imperfect manner, the cochineal insect among the productions of India.

1396. Beckmann, ii. 171.

1397. Herod. iii. 139.

1398. Plut. Thes. § 17. In later times we find Alcibiades, on his return to Athens, hoisting purple sails in the Admiral’s galley. Plut. Alcib. § 32.

1399. Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 1140. ad Acharn. 118. Cf. Plin. xxiv. 4.

1400. Virg. Eclog. iv. 45. Beckmann, History of Inventions, iii. 256—note.

1401. Poll. vii. 13.

1402. Ισάτις ἥμερος. Dioscor. ii. 215. Cf. Aristoph. Cimon. 332. Nub. 71. Dioscor. iii. 160.

1403. Beckmann, History of Inventions, t. iii. p. 255.

1404. Dioscor. v. 141.

1405. Id. ii. 127.

1406. Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxv. 42.

1407. Herod. i. 203.

1408. Casaub. ad Theoph. Charact. p. 241.

1409. Herod. iv. 14. i. 92.

1410. Plin. vii. 57. Goguet. iv. 6.

1411. Theoph. de Lapid. § 67.

1412. Constant. v. χαλαστραῖον. Theoph. de Lapid. § 64. Plat. Rep. t. vi. 184. Poll. vii. 39. x. 135.

1413. Στρουθίον. Dioscor. ii. 193. Cf. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 10. 3. Plin. Nat. Hist. xix. 18.

1414. See Mitchell on the Acharnes. 7. Gog. Origine des Loix, i. 279.

1415. Dioscor. v. 138.

1416. In the heads of certain fish, jewels are said to have been sometimes found. Athen. iii. 70.

1417. Strabo relates an excellent anecdote in illustration of this passion of his countrymen. Speaking of the city of Iasos, situated in an island of the same name on the coast of Caria, whose inhabitants drew their chief subsistence from their maritime pursuits, and were abundantly supplied with fish, he adds,—that once upon a time a celebrated musician was performing in public before the inhabitants of this city: suddenly the bell which announced the opening of the fish-market was heard to sound. Away, in an instant, scampered the Iasians, eager to secure their favourite dainty, all except a single individual, who appeared to enjoy the performance of the citharador. Flattered by this mark of his taste or politeness, the musician approached the man, and said, “I am greatly obliged by the attention you have shown me, and have to congratulate you on your love of the art; for all the rest, as soon as they heard the bell ring, ran away.”—“What then! has the bell rung?” inquired the apparent listener, who happened to be deaf. “Yes,” answered the musician. “Then good luck be with you!” cried the man, and rising hastily from his seat, he rushed after his townsmen. Strab. xiv. 2. t. iii. p. 203, seq.

1418. The observations made by Spallanzani on the eel and lamprey fisheries of Stromboli, may, with equal propriety perhaps, be applied to those which are found along the roots of Ætna: “The fish here,” he says, “are very plentiful and large, especially the sea-eels and murænas; and, during my short stay in this island, I saw a greater quantity taken than during the whole time of my continuance in all the Eolian isles. They are, likewise, of an excellent taste. This abundance, I am inclined to attribute to the volcano, which has continued incessantly burning from time immemorial; and which, extending to an immense depth, must necessarily communicate a part of its heat to the submarine base of the mountain, and to the waters that surround it, in the gentle warmth of which the fish find a more agreeable place of resort, and perhaps propagate in greater numbers than elsewhere.” Travels in the Two Sicilies, iv. 125.

1419. Plut. Timol. § 20. In catching this fish it was customary to disturb the waters. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 862. In the polypus fisheries, besides the difficulty of detaching the animal from its place, there was supposed to be another, arising from the power it possesses of assuming, like the chameleon, the colour of the surrounding rocks. Lucian. Dial. Deor. Marin. iv. § 3.

1420. This fish served for food as well as a dye. Luc. Cynic. § 11. The cuttle-fish also was eaten as now. Catapl. § 7.

1421. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 6. 5. Poll. i. 97.

1422. Aristot. Hist. Animal. ix. 37. p. 279. 20. Bekk.

1423. Dutens, Origine des Découvertes, 145.

1424. Aristot. Problem. xxxii. 5.

1425. Paus. x. 19. 2. Athen. vii. 48. Anthol. Græc. ad Palat. Cod. ed. ix. 296. Cf. Herod. viii. 8. Quint. Curt. iv. 3.

1426. Dion Chrysost. i. 220. Cf. Aristoph. Nub. 878. Ran. 139. Eq. 1220. Acharn. 367.

1427. Dion Chrysost. i. 220.

1428. See a comparison between the hardy occupations of the citizen and the hunter in Oppian. Halieut. i. 12. Cyneget. i. 49. The same poet in the third book of his Halieutics, (35, sqq.) describes the principal qualities of a fisherman, bodily and mental, such as strength, watchfulness, love of the sea, all which must have admirably fitted him for distinguishing himself in his country’s navy.

1429. Plut. De Solert. Anim. § 24. Poll. i. 97. Anglers’ lines were sometimes made of τέρμινθος, a plant resembling flax. Id. i. 233. Salmas. ad Solon. p. 911. a. Etymol. Mag. 753, 10. Fishing-hooks. Goguet, i. 166. Nets were sunk by leaden weights. Poll. i. 97. Cf. Philost. Icon. i. 13. p. 783. Artemid. Oneirocrit. ii. 14. p. 102.

1430. See in Oppian a long and highly picturesque passage describing the allurements by which the Black Sea drew into itself those innumerable shoals of fish which in the text I have described flocking towards it. Halieut. i. 598, sqq. Cf. Strab. vii. 6. t. ii. p. 112.

1431. Gyllius, De Topograph. Constant. p. 6.

1432. Poll. i. 97.

1433. Dioscor. iv. 165. Plat. De Repub. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Concon. 404. See the whole process of poisoning described by Oppian, Halieut. iv. 647, seq.

1434. Cf. Herod. i. 62.

1435. Chandler supplies us with a picture of this kind of fishing as carried on in modern Greece: “We embarked with a rougher sea than was pleasing, and rowed out in the dark towards the island, intending to fish. We joined our two seines, and the boats parted, moving each a different way, a man letting the net gently down into the water. We met again in the centre, when some embers which had been hidden, were blown up and exposed on an iron grate, the flame was fed with cedar dipped in oil, which blazing in the wind, brightened over the deep; the red coals hissing as they fell, and were extinguished. At the same time we began to clatter with wooden hammers on the sides and seats of the wherries, to dash with a pole, and to throw stones, disturbing and driving the fish, and darting a trident or spear if any appeared at the top, dazzled by the light; sprinkling oil to render the surface tranquil and pellucid. The men drew up the net with caution, fearing the fins of some poisonous fish, particularly the scorpion, which is killed with a blow on the head while entangled, when the danger ceases. The boats meeting again, they untie the seines, and throwing the fiery brands into the sea, proceed in the dark to some other place. This is the common method of fishing in these seas.” Travels in Greece and Asia Minor, ii. p. 198, seq.

1436. Quint. Smyrn. Posthomeric, vii. 569, sqq.

1437. Cf. Oppian. Halieut. iii. 429.

1438. Antich. di Ercol. t. xii. p. 273.

1439. Plin. ix. 20. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 313. 361. 862. Philost. Icon. i. 13, p. 783.

1440. Suid. v. θυννοσκόπος. t. i. p. 1336, seq. Aristoph. Eq. 313. Aristot. Hist. Animal. iv. 10. They who act as sentinels in the catching of the sword-fish, take their station on a platform in the fishing boat itself. “In the middle (of the bark) is fixed an upright pole, seventeen feet high, with ladders to go up it, and a kind of round platform at the top, for one of the crew, who acts as sentinel, to stand on. This platform is called fariere.” Spallanzani, Travels in the Two Sicilies, iv. 336.

1441. Poll. i. 97.

1442. Similar methods still prevail in the Mediterranean. “We had,” says Chandler, “frequent opportunities (while at Genoa) of seeing the method of fishing within the mole. Several seines are united and extended so far as to form a large semicircle, but much curved at the two extremities. The men then retire to some distance, and begin clattering with sticks or hammers on the sides of their boats; the noise making the fish rise. One stationed on the yard-arm of a ship, takes notice which way they swim, and gives directions, until they are within the net, when they are driven towards the ends, and are soon entangled; or, trying from despair to leap over, fall on a wing, which is fastened to long reeds, and kept floating horizontally on the surface. The reward of much toil was, now and then a few mullet. The thynnus, or thunny fish, was anciently and is now taken nearly in this manner, but in shoals which endanger and often break the nets.” Travels, &c., i. p. 6, seq.

1443. Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxvii. 17.

1444. Cf. Winkelm. ii. 93.

1445. Observations made on the habits of the swordfish may be thought to give some colour to this relation of the ancient naturalists: “The swordfish, we are told, is taken by the Messinese sailors in two ways; that is, with the lance, and the palimadara, a kind of net with very close meshes. This fishery begins about the middle of April, and continues till the middle of September. From the middle of April to the end of June it is carried on upon the coast of Calabria; and from the end of June to the middle of September on that of Sicily. The reason of this is, that, by the account of all the fishermen, the swordfish, from April till June, entering by Faro, coasts the shore of Calabria, without approaching that of Sicily; and passes the contrary way from the end of July to the middle of September. We know not whether it takes this contrary route for the sake of food, or from any other cause; or whether it be the same fish that passes and repasses; it is only certain that it does not coast the shore of Sicily but when it goes to spawn.” Spallanzani, Travels in the Two Sicilies, iv. 331.

1446. Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 20.

1447. Oppian, who tells a wonderful story about the thunny devouring its spawn, immediately adds, that the roes which escaped, concealed among the reeds and rushes, became pelamydes:

Τὰ δ᾽ ἐν δονάκεσσι καὶ ἐν σχοίνοισι μένοντα
Πηλαμύδων ἀγέλας ὥρη τέκεν
Halieut. iv. 510, seq.

1448. Aristot. Hist. Animal. viii. 13. p. 231. 30.

1449. Oppian. Halieut. i. 600, sqq.

1450. Voyages au Nord, vii. 187.

1451. Pallas supposes this fish to be the Mugil Cephalus, or mullet, from the eggs of which Botargo is prepared. Travels in Southern Russia, iv. 241.

1452. Ælian. de Nat. Animal. xv. 11.

1453. Ovalle, i. 17. Baumgarten, i. 4. Aristot. Hist. Anim. iv. p, 109. Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 20, seq.

1454. According to Oppian, however, most species of fish, like the Olympian Zeus, refuse to submit to the chains of sleep, and keep their intellectual faculties perpetually on the stretch. But the Scaros, he allows, is occasionally caught napping. Halieut. ii. 656.

1455. Aristot. Hist. Animal. iv. 10. p. 109.

1456. Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 85.

1457. Oppian. Halieut. iii. 205, sqq.

1458. Athen. vii. 86, seq.

1459. Remarkable for its voracity. Lucian. Dial. Mort. viii. The sea-dog was classed by Linnæus among the amphibia; but Spallanzani and M. Vicq-d-Azyr, restored it, upon more accurate observation, to its place among the fishes. Travels in the Two Sicilies, iv. 379.

1460. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 361.

1461. Chandler, i. 85. Cf. 151. Osbeck, Voyage to China, i. 199.

1462. Paus. i. 32. 7. Meurs. Rel. Att. c. viii. p. 32. Chandler. ii. 184.

1463. Paus. i. 38. 1. ii. 24. 6. Chandler, ii. 210.

1464. Athen. vii. 24.



On the commerce of Greece, which would supply materials for an interesting work, it is not my design to enter into very numerous details, though a brief view of the subject belongs to this undertaking. The blessings of commerce are well understood in our times, and the grand scale upon which it is now conducted may perhaps induce some to look back with something like contempt on its feeble beginnings in the Mediterranean.[1465] There, however, lay the centre of that circle which has gone on increasing until it at length embraces the whole world, and almost renders the most distant races necessary to each other. It must be interesting, therefore, to look

“O’er the dark backward and abysm of time,”

at the first movements of men towards forging the links of this chain which binds together the whole 246human race in one society, disturbed sometimes by evil passions, but cohering nevertheless, and apparently becoming more interfused daily.

In this movement there were, doubtless, several nations that preceded the Greeks. The civilisation of the East existing anterior to that of Greece, it was the Orientals who made the first step towards opening up that intercourse which afterwards became so intimate between the inhabitants of Hellas and the Arabs of Phœnicia, the Egyptians, the Persians, and other nations of the East. At first, indeed, the camel,[1466] that important instrument of human improvement, revealed to the rude tribes bordering on Arabia, the existence of wants within them, of which they before knew nothing. He came with sweets and luxuries on his back to the hamlet or the encampment, and by the sight of them created desires, to gratify which the aid of industry was to be called in. At a very early age strings of camels, laden with perfumes and spices, and gold, traversed the plains of western Asia, ascended and descended along the Nile, penetrated the northern coasts of Africa, and, by barter and traffic, diffused the productions of the East much further even than their own footsteps reached, as now the manufactures of England find their way into the countries never beheld by an Englishman.

Presently the blue and beautiful waters of the Mediterranean tempted the adventurous Arabs who had settled in Phœnicia, the country of the palm-tree, to launch their barks on it, and push from isle to isle till they found themselves in Hellas, 247where the beauty of the women occasionally, perhaps, when they were not to be enticed away, may have tempted an adventurer[1467] to remain as other Arabs have done in every land whither they have wandered.[1468] This, I am persuaded, is all that can be conceded to those who see so many proofs of Oriental colonies in Greece. But though the Orientals did not colonize Greece, they no doubt aided very powerfully in civilizing it. For when the rude natives saw that there were many desirable things to be obtained from the strangers if they could give them any thing valuable in return, it must have set their wits at work to invent new means of obtaining the things they coveted. At the outset it was a rough system of barter. The Phœnicians took the produce of the country in exchange for their merchandise, and secured their own success by awakening an appetite for pleasures which they alone could furnish.

However, tradition has preserved evident traces of voyages of discovery and commercial adventure undertaken by the Greeks[1469] themselves, in imitation of the Phœnicians,—for, into this the Argonautic expedition, 248in what direction soever it proceeded, resolves itself, in fact. The Greeks possessed manufactures, ships, commerce, and, as a consequence, considerable wealth, long before the birth of history, a circumstance which goes far to overthrow the wild theories of certain modern scholars respecting the Iliad and Odyssey; for, if the Greeks had constant dealings with nations who were indisputably in possession of the art of writing, with abundant materials, they must have been the slowest and most stupid of mankind if they neglected to imitate those nations. Besides, the Phœnicians would be as ready to supply them with paper, parchment, and whatever else they wrote on, as with any other articles of commerce, and must have desired to awaken in them the wish to consume what they were deeply interested in supplying. Thus, if the Phœnicians and Egyptians understood the art of writing, as from the sacred Scriptures we know they did, it is all but impossible that the Greeks should have remained ignorant of it.

Homer, of course, supplies the best account we can possess of Grecian commerce in remote antiquity, though it had been carried on ages before his time. Mariners, in the Odyssey, obtain the name of πρηκτῆρες, or “merchants,” and are elsewhere said to plough the seas, ἐπὶ πρῆξιν καὶ χρήματα,—“for traffic and gain.”[1470] The most celebrated mariners known to Homer were the Phœnicians, whom he therefore terms,

Ναυσίκλυτοι ἄνδρες
Τρῶκται, μυρί᾽ ἄγοντες ἀθύρματα νηῒ μελαίνῃ.[1471]
Famous mariners,
Roguish, numerous trinkets bringing in black ships.

That from the beginning, moreover, they obtained celebrity for their piratical arts, the story of Eunæos, 249in the Odyssey, and the rape of Io, as related by Herodotus,[1472] clearly show. Nay, Thucydides himself, in a recapitulation of the ancient history of Greece, observes that the islanders, chiefly Carians and Phœnicians, were no less renowned than their neighbours for piracy.[1473] The Phœnicians, however, would appear to have led the way, and, probably, by their successes excited the emulation of the Carians, who drove them from the island, and adopted the business of piracy in their stead.[1474]

Though the value of the precious metals was already well understood, they had not been adopted as the sole instruments of exchange; for, from the often-cited passage of the Iliad,[1475] it is clear that the practice of barter still prevailed. The poet describes certain ships arriving at the Grecian camp with a cargo of wine from Lemnos, on which the chiefs and soldiers flock to the shore, and provide themselves with what they needed, some giving in exchange for it a quantity of brass, iron, skins; and others, oxen or slaves. Among the rustic population of Greece, if the poets may be relied on, the system of barter prevailed down to a very late period, since we find the goatherd, in Theocritus,[1476] giving a she-goat and a cheesecake for a pastoral cup. The Spartans, too, after the death of Polydoros, purchased his palace 250from the widow for a certain number of oxen; whence it was afterwards called βοώνητα,[1477] or “bought with oxen,” unless the legend was invented to account for the name. Pausanias, however, states as a reason for the transaction, that neither gold nor silver money was yet in use, but that things were disposed of after the ancient fashion of exchanging goods for their value in some other article,—oxen, slaves, or gold or silver in ingots. He adds, in illustration, that the Indians, even in his age, were ignorant of the use of money, though abounding with the precious metals, and used to barter their own manufactures for the merchandise brought by the Greeks: besides, at Sparta, there was a law, attributed to Lycurgos, which prescribed barter in lieu of purchase and sale.[1478]

From a passage in the Iliad, which would seem to signify the direct contrary, it has been inferred, that the use of money in commerce was known among the Greeks in the Homeric age. Speaking of the exchange of armour, between Glaucos and Diomedes, the poet says:

Χρύσεα χαλκείων, ἑκατόμβοι ἐννεαβοίων.[1479]
Gold armour for brazen, a hundred-ox value for nine.

An ancient scholiast on the passage understands by βοῦς a piece of money, stamped on one side with the figure of an ox, and on the other with that of a king.[1480] But one of the scholia published by Villoison, observes on the word ἑκατόμβοια, “worth a hundred oxen, for they did not as yet make use of money.” Another scholion,[1481] however, remarks, οἱ γὰρ Ἀθηναῖοι ἐν τοῖς ἐαυτῶν νομίσμασι βοῦν ἐνετύπουν. Pollux[1482] relates the same fact, observing that, in remote antiquity, the Athenians made use of a piece of money called βοῦς, because 251it had impressed upon it the figure of an ox, and that, by many, Homer was supposed to have alluded to this Attic coin in the verse above cited, “indocte,” however, as Heyne[1483] observes. Mention of a fine called δεκάβοιον occurred, according to Pollux, in the laws of Dracon; and in the procession (θεωρία) to Delos, the herald used to proclaim when a certain prize was given, that so many oxen were bestowed on such a one. The value of the coin was two didrachmæ, so that the Bous was simply a didrachma.[1484] The ox was stamped by the Athenians on their coins as the symbol of peace and abundance.[1485]

Plutarch[1486] assigns, by conjecture, two reasons; first, that Theseus, whom he regards as its inventor, may have meant by the figure of the ox to recall the memory of Minos’s general Tauros; or, second, because he wished to turn the mind of the citizens to agriculture.

The talent of gold is mentioned more than once by Homer;[1487] but we are not to imagine with Feith[1488] that there was a piece of money so called, though in the case of Homer he supposes it to signify a certain weight of gold, and not a coin. Modern critics get over all difficulties in the usual way by pronouncing the passage spurious.[1489] No doubt the people of those early times did not greatly abound in wealth, which, arising from the 252assiduous cultivation of the useful arts, could not be plentiful where these arts were scarcely at all known. Even tyrants, who always contrive to obtain their share of whatever riches exist in their country, were long after the Homeric age possessed of but little wealth, any more than their people.[1490] Money, however, does not constitute opulence. There was a rude plenty of all the necessaries of life, and as the secret representative of wealth had not been invented, men sought to possess the realities,—herds of oxen, flocks of sheep, lands, houses, and splendid apparel. Fine studs of horses, also, were naturally desired, being at once useful in war, and showy in peace.[1491]

We observe in these ages, however, as well as in all others, that men no sooner enjoyed the necessaries than they desired the luxuries and ornaments of life. In several countries bordering upon the Mediterranean, there was already great magnificence displayed. The kings of Midian, for example, wore purple garments, golden earrings, and jewelled collars; their camels, moreover, were covered with costly trimmings and ornaments of gold.[1492]

Of the internal commerce of Greece, in the earlier ages, little, comparatively, is known. Goguet[1493] appears to suppose, that hardly any traffic can be carried on without the aid of sumpter animals, such as camels, mules, or asses. But the natives of Canara[1494] drive a pretty thriving trade, though nearly every article of merchandise is transported on men’s heads. In Greece, however, the use of vehicles was very ancient, its origin being lost in fable.[1495] Boats, canoes, &c., came early into vogue also; and yet Thucydides relates, that the intercourse of the rural tribes of the Hellenes was for many ages so slight 253as scarcely to merit attention. Bad roads, the absence of inns, the want of a police, the great number of robbers, were great obstacles; but the very existence of robbers attests the fact, that attempts were constantly made to extend inland commerce, though it may have been long before it was established on a solid basis.

Descending towards the historical periods we find the Æginetans first distinguishing themselves as a commercial people. Their history, as far as ancient fragments supply it, has been composed by a modern scholar[1496] of eminence, whose researches must prove of the utmost utility to all succeeding inquirers. This people, living on a small and nearly barren island, early directed their attention to the arts, to the various processes of industry, and to commerce, the only employment suited to the nature of their soil. Too much stress has, perhaps, been laid on the situation of Ægina, which will not at all explain the commercial turn of its inhabitants, since Crete, with more abundant means, and possibly a better situation, was never very remarkable as a trading country. However, poverty and a good position combined with the genius of the people to render them commercial. They enjoyed still fewer advantages in the matter of soil even than Attica; their lands were of little value; they could neither become hunters nor shepherds; nor could even the most slender population subsist on the produce of the mines. Fishing they, probably, tried at the outset, as well as piracy, but, finding that neither led to opulence, they adopted the mercantile life; for which reason they have, with much ingenuity, been termed the Phœnicians of Greece,[1497] though no colonies from Phœnicia ever settled in their island. The Æginetæ were already famous, however, from 254remote antiquity, as mariners, and, in the course of time, converted their whole island into an emporium.[1498]

On the antiquity of the Æginetan trade a very curious passage occurs in Pausanias. This writer relates, that, in the time of Pompos, king of Arcadia, who flourished during the second century before the first Olympiad, Æginetan ships landed at Cyllenè, the great harbour of Elis, whence they transported their merchandise, on strings of sumpter animals, to Arcadia. The king was so much pleased with them on this account, that he named his son Æginetes, in remembrance of their traffic.[1499] It was about this period that the Greeks first began to trade in their own bottoms, and to possess merchandise of their own. It has been observed, that in Homer the word ἔμπορος never signifies merchant, and that where mention of real merchants occurs they are always barbarians, or semi-barbarians,[1500] Phœnicians, Cretans, Tyrsenians, Lemnians, Taphians, or Phæacians.[1501] No Achaian or Argive is found who derived his subsistence from commerce, though there seem to be passages from which the contrary may be inferred. But in Hesiod, who lived later, and describes more homely scenes and manners, we find commerce already spoken of as a profitable employment.[1502]

Originally, the Æginetans were led by their piratical propensities to apply themselves to maritime affairs; finding, no doubt, that robbery was an easier and more agreeable profession than any modification of industry, particularly as in those tolerant ages there was no disgrace, but the contrary, attached to it, when exercised against men of a different class. These worthy islanders, however, were impartial in their rapine. For, no sooner had they thrown off the yoke of the Epidaurians, than they 255made incursions[1503] into their mother country, which they soon extended to the coasts of Attica; and they were, probably, the buccaneers against whom the tyrant Hippias fitted out a fleet.[1504] Afterwards, forming an alliance with the Thebans, they plundered and devastated all the maritime towns of Attica, and even lay in ambush to intercept the sacred galley on its way to Delos.

Having been restored to their country, after the Peloponnesian war, they resumed their plundering habits, and obtained from the Spartan Ephori permission to infest the Attic coasts, which they frequently did in times of profound peace. Their taste for piracy was lasting. In the age of Demosthenes their island was a nest of pirates, and a fair for the sale of their plunder, which it continued for many centuries after.[1505]

Reverting, however, to the trade of Ægina: its ancient traffic with Arcadia was marked by many curious circumstances. In the first place we must infer from it, as the historian of the island remarks, the existence of previous traffic elsewhere.[1506] For, if their merchandise consisted merely of raw materials, these must still have been procured from other lands; and, if of manufactured goods, then, in addition 256to the existence of a foreign trade to supply them with the raw articles, we must suppose in them the existence of considerable skill. Again, as Pompos, the Cypselid, probably reigned at Orchomenos, they must have been able to perform long voyages by sea, and long journeys by land; though we can account for their taking the dangerous route round capes Skylleion and Malea, and the mountainous roads from Eleia to Arcadia, in preference to the shorter way from Corinthia or Argolis, only by supposing them to have been driven to it by the rivalry of the Argives and Corinthians. It must be admitted to be honourable to their ingenuity thus to have opened up a road into Arcadia, which would seem to be shut out by nature from all commerce.

With the Arcadians alone, however, could inland trade be carried on upon a large scale; among every other Hellenic people possessing sea-coasts and harbours, it degenerated into mere peddling. Hence, the Æginetans obtained the character, once possessed in this country by the Scotch, of being a nation of pedlars—sometimes travelling from village to village, with their packs; at other times settling, like the Maltese of the present day, in towns on the coast of Greece, they became corn-chandlers, vintners, toymen, or victuallers, in established shops or stalls in the agora. Hence, all kinds of humble wares, or pedlary, obtained the appellation of Æginetan wares. Like the Jews, too, both they and the Cretans (noted liars, as St. Paul[1507] assures us) were regarded as skin-flints, and, in many cases, betook themselves to the practice of usury.[1508]

Frequently, however, they soared above these petty arts, and became merchants on a large scale, 257trading with distant lands and acquiring very great wealth. The entire island, in Strabo’s time, was regarded as an emporium; and, even so far back as the age of Aristotle, their whole marine was employed in commerce. In some cities, he says, nearly all the shipping is engaged in one kind of service; those of Byzantium and Tarentum in the fisheries; those of Athens in war; those of Chios and Ægina as merchantmen; and those of Tenedos as transports.[1509] It has been conjectured, not without reason, that Sostratos, the son of Leodamos, celebrated by Herodotus for his riches, was a merchant. “The Samians,” says this historian, “induced by divine command to undertake the voyage of Tartessos, brought home with them greater wealth (sixty talents) than any other Greeks ever gained by trade, if we except Sostratos, with whom no one can contend in opulence.[1510]

But the Æginetans also engaged in foreign trade, sending ships to Tartessos towards the west, and to the Black Sea towards the east. It is related, for example, that when Xerxes was at Abydos, he saw merchantmen sailing down the Dardanelles with corn for Ægina and the Peloponnesos,[1511] which were stopped by his fleet with the design of taking both ships and men. But when Xerxes learned they were bound for Greece, he dismissed them, considering the corn as so much provision for his own army, which, he doubted not, would be able to subjugate the whole country. From which Müller conjectures, but without reason, that the great corn markets of the Black Sea were at that time exclusively in the hands of the Æginetans; though afterwards, during the Peloponnesian war, when Ægina fell, they passed over to the Athenians. The reason “that the Æginetans stood so much in need of the supply, that they would not have endured a rival,” could only hold good if they had the 258power to command a monopoly, which, for any length of time at least, is highly improbable, since although they are said to have been masters of the sea about the age of Darius Hystaspes,[1512] their domination was extremely short-lived.[1513] It would seem, however, that they were at that time in the habit of supplying the Peloponnesos with grain. Slaves they imported both from Pontos and from Crete, and it is doubtful whence they obtained the greater number. A large proportion of their exports found their way into Crete, where they had established a colony at Cydonia. Besides lying one day’s sail distant from the Peloponnesos, and that of a day and a night from Africa, this great island formed an excellent midway station between Ægina and the mouth of the Nile.

The port at which all the Greeks resided during their stay in Egypt was Naucratis in the Delta, which the Pharaohs granted them in the same way as the Chinese emperors now do Canton to the Europeans, as their only abode. Here, by permission of Amasis, such Greeks as merely traded with Egypt built altars and erected sacred enclosures in the neighbourhood of the city, though I vainly sought, when on the spot, to discover the slightest trace of them. The nine cities of Ionians, Dorians, and Æolians erected at their common expense a sacred edifice, which they called Hellenion. The Ionian cities were Chios, Teos, Phocea and Clazomenæ; the 259Dorian, Rhodes, Cnidos, Halicarnassos, and Phaselis; of the Æolian, Mitylene only. The Æginetans raised for their own use a temple to Zeus,—the Samians to Hera,—the Milesians to Apollo.[1514] At this time, however, Naucratis was the only harbour in Egypt; and as this was pretty generally known, ships making land anywhere else were naturally suspected of being pirates; for which reason the captain was required to swear that he had come hither involuntarily. This done, he was to steer from the Canopic mouth of the Nile; or, if the weather were contrary, his cargo was conveyed round the Delta in barides to Naucratis, which the historian[1515] understood to be done for the benefit of the foreign settlers, for so greatly, says he, was Naucratis honoured. At this time, one of the principal articles exported into Egypt by the Greeks would appear to have been wine, since all then drunk in the country was foreign, the vine not having been as yet introduced.

Of the trade of Sparta extremely little is known. In fact, until a comparatively late period, it appears to have been inconsiderable, and to have been conducted in the rudest manner possible. Each citizen, on receiving the proceeds of his lands, laid up in his storehouses what he judged sufficient for the consumption of the ensuing year, and disposed of the remainder in the Agora, not, it has been conjectured, for money, but by the ancient manner of barter.[1516] It is said that the Lacedæmonians exhibited much ingenuity in their mode of preserving the fruits of the earth; but in what that ingenuity consisted we are not informed. They were likewise noted for the care and order with which the implements of domestic economy were kept, so that everything was ready at hand when wanted.[1517] The fact that they had granaries 260on their estates, which were locked up and sealed, argues much greater connexion with the country, than they are supposed to have maintained; for had they never lived on those estates, it is not probable they would have left their property there, subject, as Mr. Müller[1518] thinks, to the conscientious visits of every poor man who might choose to out-hunt his provisions.

Money, we are incessantly told, was prohibited at Sparta; but, nevertheless, it seems to have been in constant use. It is affirmed, indeed, by a writer somewhat too prone to panegyric, that “it was employed more often as a medium of comparison than of exchange; small coins were chiefly used, and no value was attributed to the possession of large quantities.”[1519] But I do not see what is meant by employing money “as a medium of comparison;” and with regard to the value set on money by the Spartans, history incapacitates us for accepting the generous gloss of Mr. Müller. It is perhaps true that Lycurgos aimed at eradicating avarice from the Spartan breast, but, in the means to be adopted for that end, only showed his ignorance of human nature; since, though he might bring his vinegar-cooled iron medium of comparison into contempt, he could not thereby diminish the value of the things exchanged, that is of real wealth, which accordingly was estimated as highly at Sparta as elsewhere. Thus we see that poor men, not able to contribute their quota of provisions, were excluded from the common tables, which therefore resembled the hospitality and common tables of an inn,[1520]

Where the Red Lion staring o’er the way,
Invites each passing stranger—that can pay.

261The learned, with all their leaning towards scepticism, sometimes interpret too literally the language of authors in whom license and exaggeration are a merit. Thus Bœckh[1521] conceives “that, even in the time of the Trojan war, the precious metals were well known in the Peloponnesos,” because Homer describes Menelaus as possessed of both gold and silver.[1522] But the Achæan prince had travelled in the East, whence, according to the poet, he brought his gold, and it does not appear historically that the precious metals were “well known,” which extensive use only could render them, till some ages after the Trojan war. The Dorians, however, whatever may have been the case with the Achæans, long continued to be scantily supplied with the precious metals, which may be accounted for from their isolated mountainous country, want of industry, and aversion for all intercourse with strangers, without adopting the unphilosophical fancy, that they were instigated by a kind of argyrophobia strictly to prohibit the use of gold and silver.[1523] Conceiving that, by cutting his people off from human intercourse, he might render them more warlike, as dogs are made savage by chaining, Lycurgos, or whoever was the author of the Spartan constitution, may have desired to keep them poor, and therefore have prohibited commerce. But even in their own domestic traffic, the necessity of some instrument of exchange was soon perceived, and iron[1524] being as plentiful as gold and silver were scarce, he adopted the expedient of employing iron money. At first the metal was used in bars or spits (ὀβελοὶ, ὀβελίσκοι) which were stamped with some mark in 262the furnaces of Laconia, just as in other countries bars of silver or copper were used; “whence the obolos or spit and the drachma or handful received their names.”[1525]

When the Argives, in the reign of Pheidon, abandoned the use of metallic bars, and began to coin money, the Spartans followed in their train, but still adhered to the use of iron, so that the coins which first proceeded from a Laconian mint, probably resembled quoits more than crown-pieces. Mr. Müller observes, but I know not on what authority, that the chief coin was called from its shape, and perhaps also from its size, πέλανορ, the cake used in sacrifices. If this was the case it must have been a coin of extraordinary conformation, for the pelanos resembled, in figure, a bull, horns and all,[1526] and was habitually offered to Apollo, Artemis, the Moon, and Hecatè. This odd-looking piece of money was in value about four chalci or hemioboloi, that is, about three farthings. But such an unwieldy coinage, which, as tokens, might serve very well for the home currency, would be of no service abroad; so that when Sparta began to aim at foreign conquest, it found it necessary to set aside the ancient laws, and create a currency for effecting its purpose. A tribute was therefore imposed on the islands, and a contribution of a tenth was demanded from all those Greeks who acknowledged its supremacy.[1527]

It seems, however, to have been intended by the legislator, that individuals should not possess gold and silver money; but the severity of the punishment[1528] awarded transgressors, instead of proving 263how strong the hold of this ancient custom (of being without money) was upon the Spartan mind, shows the direct contrary, for there is no necessity to be severe with men who obey from habit, but with those who evince a disposition to break through all restraint. Besides, the law seems to have permitted the use of the precious metals when wrought into ornaments or articles of furniture. Offerings of gold, such as the stars of the Dioscuri, were dedicated by the state at Delphi, and statues of gold and ivory, the works of native artists, were set up within the city about the period of the Persian war.[1529] A hundred years earlier, when the state desired to gild the face of Apollo, at Thornax, they travelled as far as Lydia[1530] in search of the necessary gold, which wholly disproves the assumption of Bœckh mentioned above.

But after all the learned researches of modern writers, this Spartan ordinance respecting the possession of money is surrounded by insurmountable difficulties. For Sparta, unquestionably, carried on some commerce, which it could not have done without possessing a coinage of universal currency; though Mr. Müller is not authorized to state, as he does, that there was a constant export of corn from Laconia and Arcadia downwards to the coast of Corinth, since the passage in Thucydides,[1531] on which he relies, merely relates in the words of the Corinthians, that unless they joined in the war against Athens in aid of the maritime states, they would find no market for the produce of their lands, (including corn, no doubt,) nor would they be able to import what they might stand in need of from abroad.[1532] However, so far back as the Persian war, the Peloponnesos did not produce corn sufficient for home consumption, since we find 264it importing it from the countries of the Black Sea. It is, therefore, extremely improbable that it should have done so in the time of the Peloponnesian war, when it had grown far more populous, so that possibly among the things which ἡ θάλασση τῇ ἠπείρῳ δίδωσι corn may have been included.

It appears, therefore, that Sparta both exported and imported; but who were the agents? The state, which alone it is supposed possessed an available instrument of exchange, could not, it is argued, have carried on the trade. But wherefore? “Because it would have required a proportionate number of public officers.”[1533] Those officers, however, might easily have been found, and, therefore, this is no reason; and that no such officers existed, our knowledge of the government is too scanty to enable us to affirm. Accordingly, it does not follow from this that the trade “was in the hands of the Periœci.” However, if such was the case, the possession of a gold and silver coinage must have been permitted to them, which at once places the great majority of the free inhabitants of Laconia in precisely the same condition as other nations in this respect. Admitting this, it will be difficult to believe that their neighbours and acquaintances, the military and ruling class, would abstain from what they enjoyed. In fact, we cannot consent to believe, that such a state of things “could not have had much influence on the Spartans, since they had not any personal connexion with the Periœci, the latter being only tributary to the state.” The reverse of all this is true, as any one might know without any other testimony than his own experience. Our countrymen in India occupy the same position as the Dorians in the Peloponnesos, and for a short time kept much aloof from the natives. But personal intercourse became inevitable, and it would now 265be absurd to say, that the wealth of the Hindûs would exercise little influence on the English, supposing the latter to be poor and proud as the Spartans. The fact of the Periœci being tributary, which seems to be offered as a reason, is no reason at all. It were far better to confess our ignorance at once, than by a series of groundless conjectures, put forward with confidence, to create a semblance of knowledge. There does not appear to be any foundation for the statement, that none but iron money was used in the Spartan market, where the landlords and their serfs disposed of the produce of their lands. On the contrary, it seems probable, that as, in many cases, it must have been sold to the Periœci for exportation, (foreigners being excluded,) the landlords would receive gold and silver unminted, perhaps, to evade the law in return. Again, the kings of Sparta, it is evident, could possess gold and silver. This, history proves so clearly that Mr. Müller is constrained to confess it. And if the kings and the Periœci, nay, even the very Helots could amass and enjoy the precious metals, and the luxuries they purchase, it is too much to suppose that the masters of the kings, of the Periœci and all, would have dwelt in ascetic forbearance in the midst of so many temptations. Besides, we constantly find the Spartans in situations in which their iron money could be of no service to them. What, for example, could it have availed them at Olympia? Yet there they were, the men in person, the women by proxy, with their horses and their chariots, and every mark and indication of wealth.

But to men travelling beyond the borders money was allowed. This sum they might expend, or they might not. If they did not, were they searched on their return, and the surplus taken from them? Otherwise men would make journeys and accumulate cash in that way. Again, we are told, that great obstacles were placed in the way of foreign travel by the necessity of obtaining 266a passport along with the travelling expenses (ἐφόδια) from the magistrates or the king, and reference is made to Herodotus. But that historian in the passage referred to is speaking of king Demaratos, who being driven from the country by his mother’s bad character, takes what money he needs for his journey, and departs without asking leave of any one.[1534]

However, when straitened in circumstances individuals had sometimes recourse to the kings or to the state as to a bank; and that the thing was customary appears from the fact, that princes, in order to start with a popular measure, always upon their accession remitted the debts of the citizens both to themselves and to the state.[1535] On this occasion they destroyed all the bonds or instruments of mortgage (κλάρια), bringing them into the agora, and there piling them up into a heap and setting them on fire.[1536]

It is certain, therefore, and admitted even by Mr. Müller, that whatever may have been the intention of the original Spartan institutions, their severity was soon relaxed, and wealth with all its concomitants, introduced into the state. Even so far back as the ages before the Persian war, as we learn from the speech of Leutychides,[1537] at Athens, foreigners found no obstacle to prevent their bringing gold and silver to Sparta, where one of the most distinguished citizens undertook the keeping of a rich Milesian’s money, whose children he afterwards endeavoured to defraud. Could he have made no use of this money he would scarcely have desired to retain it. The share of the plunder accruing to Sparta in the Persian war was evidently not confined to the public coffers, though we may possibly allow that the Persian subsidies went to the defraying of national expenses.[1538] At all events certain 267it is that Sparta, about the time of Socrates, was by many regarded as the wealthiest state in Greece, and that not as a community, but individually, reckoning their estates in Messenia, the number of their slaves, Helots and others, their splendid studs, and vast droves of cattle. Nay, their wealth in gold and silver is particularly specified, with the additional remark, that for many ages the precious metals had been flowing into that country, both from Grecian and barbarian sources,[1539] but that no one had ever seen any flow out, an observation which Montesquieu,[1540] and others have applied without reflection, to Hindústân.

It exceeds our faith in human nature to believe, with Mr. Müller, that, in spite of these untoward circumstances, “the citizens maintained the same proud indigence.” History, in fact, renders inexcusable the belief in such virtue, though men occasionally arose at Sparta, as well as at Athens and elsewhere, who, with a stoical firmness, resisted the allurements of riches and pleasure. The greater number fell, and yielded themselves up with so much enthusiasm to the pursuit of gain, adding acre to acre and gold to gold, that from the Ephoralty of Epitadeus downwards, the city was infested with usurers, great capitalists, and extensive landed proprietors, who, by degrees, got into their hands the whole property of the country. Much less ingenuity than the Spartans possessed would, in fact, have enabled them to evade the old law, which seems to have immediately grown obsolete when the arts of rendering it powerless had been invented. They deposited 268their surplus wealth at Delphi, in Arcadia, and several other countries, so that if driven into exile,[1541] of which there was always a probability, they might be able to subsist in splendour in their new country.[1542] But these speculations sometimes failed; in the case of the Arcadians, the possession of the gold converted bankers into enemies, as, by picking a quarrel with the owners, they hoped to be able to defraud them.[1543] Lysander, though he did not commence this practice, at least countenanced it by his example. Gylippos, inheriting from his family the thirst of gold, was condemned and starved to death, by the Ephori, for purloining public property. His father Cleandridas, in conjunction with king Pleistoanax, had accepted bribes from Pericles, and ended his days in exile.[1544] From this period, as seems to be undeniable, the possession of gold and silver by private individuals was permitted by law, or connived at; and the Spartans proceeded, after the manner of all other nations, to divide themselves into very rich and very poor, to house together, in the same city, misery and splendour, extreme luxury and extreme want, until the common fate, foreign conquest and slavery, overtook them.

The trade which, meanwhile, was carried on by Laconia must have been at times very considerable, though there were few points on the coast provided with roadsteads, or harbours, capable of receiving ships of burden. To facilitate intercourse with foreign nations, an artificial harbour was constructed at Trinasos, around which the inhabitants of Gythium, situated on an eminence some distance inland, gradually clustered, deserting their ancient residence for one more convenient and profitable. From hence 269the productions of Laconia, which will be enumerated elsewhere, were shipped for foreign countries, Libya for example, and Egypt, whence merchandise of various kinds were obtained in return. But, as this port appears to have been little commodious or secure, the merchantmen, on their return from Africa, usually put into the island of Cythera,[1545] where are several harbours, amongst which that of St. Nicholas, anciently Scandeia,[1546] on the eastern coast, is sheltered and spacious, and provided with so narrow an entrance that it may at pleasure be closed with a chain. The inhabitants of this island, like those of the Laconian territories on the main, were free Lacedæmonians, who appear to have directed their attention entirely to commerce and agriculture, and the management of the productive purple fishery, carried on among the shoals and rocks encircling their island.[1547] Besides its use in dyeing, this fish is said to have been employed as a bait in taking the pelamys, and there was, likewise, in this sea, a considerable whale fishery. The nerves of these leviathans, properly prepared, were used in stringing the psaltery, and other musical instruments, and also for bowstrings. It may, therefore, be presumed, that they formed an important article of commerce.[1548]

Here, likewise, were quarries of porphyry,[1549] from 270which, in earlier ages, the island is said to have obtained the name of Porphyrussa. At the distance of a mile and a quarter from Scandia stood the city of Cythera, with an Acropolis situated on a very high rock. At this place was a temple of the celestial Aphroditè, esteemed one of the most ancient in Greece,[1550] the inhabitants having addicted themselves to the worship of this goddess, because, when she first sprang from the waves, she is said to have come floating thither on a shell of mother-of-pearl.[1551] How many of the productions of this island passed annually into commerce cannot be known. But, it is described as abounding, in modern times, with wild asses, and deer, and hares, and quails, and turtle-doves,[1552] which last were, of old, sacred to the goddess of the isle. Corn, also, and oil, and wine of excellent quality, were found in Cythera, though by no means in abundance. It likewise produces tragoriganon and bastard dittany. The island being thus productive, it is by no means surprising that the Spartans should have set a high value on it, and sent thither, annually, a magistrate, named Cytherodices, together with a garrison of heavy-armed men. Another advantage which Sparta derived from the possession of this island was, that it served it as a kind of defence against the incursions of pirates, commanding, in some sort, the narrow sea between Peloponnesos and Crete.

271That this was no small advantage will be evident if we consider to what extent, and with how much cruelty, piracy was exercised in old times. It dogged incessantly the heels of commerce, appearing on every sea and penetrating to every land whither industry betook itself for the acquisition of wealth. It may be said, indeed, to have been a kind of bastard brother of trade, both proceeding from the desire of gain. Against the masters of this craft the first war-galleys appear to have been fitted out in the Mediterranean. For, among the principal exploits of the half-fabulous king of Crete is enumerated his clearing the sea of pirates, his object being to secure the transmission of his revenues from the smaller islands to the seat of empire. For, in old times, both the Greeks and barbarians of the continent, inhabiting the sea-coast, and all those who dwelt in the islands, no sooner addicted themselves to navigation, than they took to piracy, being led by their most powerful fellow-citizens, partly for their own advantage, and partly with a view of providing for the poor; and falling suddenly on unwalled cities, or people dispersed in villages, they plundered the whole country, and thus chiefly procured themselves subsistence. Nor, in fact, was this sort of life attended with disgrace, but with some degree of honour. Even in Thucydides’ own time, many tribes of the continent gloried in their piratical skill, and from the ancient poets, he says, it was clear the same feeling had always prevailed; for, the first question put to seamen, on their landing, was, whether they were pirates or not; and this without the persons interrogated considering it to be any offence, or those who asked intending any.[1553] No idea of caste seems to have existed. The reception of Pelops, who came with great wealth from Asia into Peloponnesos, shows that riches, however acquired, were valued before both; for he might have been, and, probably, was, a pirate.[1554]

272In the interior, also, plundering expeditions were carried on by land, as on the borders of England or Scotland, and more anciently on the Welsh marshes. And up to the period of the Peloponnesian war, many Greek nations still continued to live after the ancient manner, as the Ozolian and Epicnemidian Locrians, the Ætolians, the Acarnanians, and other neighbouring tribes, of which their habit of wearing arms may be considered as a memento. To repress the ravages of these half-civilized races was often an object of great concern to the Athenians, who, to check the cruises of the Opuntians, long accustomed to enrich themselves by plundering the coast of Eubœa during the Peloponnesian war, took and fortified the uninhabited island of Atalantè.[1555] Some ages before, they had, under the conduct of Cimon, expelled from Scyros the piratical Dolopians, who not only scoured the neighbouring seas, but even plundered such vessels as put into their harbour.[1556] Nothing, however, could extirpate the evil, which has always continued to be the curse of those seas, sometimes denounced, sometimes encouraged, by the princes of the neighbouring countries, who, like Philip of Macedon, find it convenient, according to the exigencies of their affairs, to make war upon the buccaneers, or to unite with them in pursuit of plunder.

Of all the Doric states the most commercial was undoubtedly Corinth. That, situated on the isthmus by which the Peloponnesos is united with the rest of Greece, became very early an emporium, and rose to opulence[1557] and splendour; for whatever merchandise was transported from northern Greece into any of the states of the peninsula by land, necessarily passed through this city, and paying, as was customary, transit dues, tended greatly to enrich it. The same thing may be said of the productions of the Peloponnesos, which, by this road, found their way into Hellas. Afterwards addicting themselves to navigation, the Corinthians, from their two ports of 273Lechæum and Cenchreæ,[1558] carried on an extremely extensive commerce with Italy and the countries on the Adriatic on the one hand, and with Asia Minor[1559] and the islands on the other; so that whatever articles of commerce are reckoned among the imports of Athens were likewise in a measure to be found at Corinth. The aversion of the ancient mariners to double Cape Malea long secured its trade to Corinth. There was a proverb[1560] which said, that whoever sailed round that redoubtable promontory must be unmindful of his friends at home; and, in truth, the boisterous and contrary winds which still encounter the mariner who passes from the Myrtoan to the Ionian sea might well appear terrible to the small craft of remote antiquity. To avoid this dangerous navigation these barks themselves, together with the merchandise they carried, were drawn across the isthmus, and launched again on the opposite sea. The project of Nero, therefore, who designed to open a canal at this place, would, if completed, have proved of the greatest service to the Corinthians, whose city might have continued to be enriched by it to the present day.

With respect to the articles which Corinth herself supplied to commerce, they will be found enumerated among the exports and imports of Greece. Her manufactures were numerous and important,[1561] consisting, among others, of rich coverlets, fine woollen garments, costly pottery, and works in that rich metal known under the name of Corinthian bronze. This, it is said, consisted of a small mixture of gold and silver with brass; though, according to another account, it was produced by heating the metal red-hot, and in that state plunging it into the waters of Peirenè.[1562]

274Much trade was carried on in the territories of Corinth during the celebration of the Isthmian games, which, bringing together a vast multitude of people from Ionia, Sicily, Italy, Libya, Thessaly, and the extremities of the Black Sea, necessarily attracted thither, among the rest, the retailers of all kinds of provisions. These finding a speedy market for their goods, other tradesmen followed their example, so that at length assemblies, originating in religion, resembled prodigious fairs,[1563] whither every description of merchandise was conveyed for the admiration and purchase of the pilgrims.[1564]

It is, however, with much difficulty that we obtain an insight into the manner[1565] in which the inland traffic of Greece was carried on in the earlier ages; but it is probable, that, as in India, Egypt, and Arabia, great fairs were held on some convenient spot, whither the sellers and buyers resorted from all the countries around. That this was the case in many places we know. There was, for example, a monthly fair held at Aleision,[1566] near Amphidolis in Eleia, on the mountain road from Elis to Olympia, to which all the peasants of the neighbourhood resorted. Among the Romans smaller fairs or markets were held every nine days, and were thence called nundinia.[1567] On these occasions the rustics intermitted their usual employment and repaired to the city, as well to furnish themselves with what they needed, as to learn what new laws or regulations might have been promulgated in the interim.

The Epidamnians, who, as Müller[1568] observes, “retained much of ancient custom, paid great attention 275to the intercourse with foreigners,” and held great annual fairs, which were frequented by the neighbouring Illyrians. By this is meant, strange as it would seem, that they sought to cut off all such intercourse. For, as Plutarch[1569] relates in his Greek Questions, the people of Epidamnia living in the vicinity of the Illyrians, and observing, that such of their citizens as associated with them grew corrupt, and fearing innovation, elected one of their chief citizens to conduct the necessary intercourse and the barter which took place annually at a great fair. This officer, called Poletes, acted as broker-general for his fellow-citizens.

1465. The reader will find in the work of Monsieur F. Thiersch, De l’Etat actuel de la Grèce, t. ii. p. 72, sqq., an interesting and instructive chapter on the trade carried on by the descendants of that people whose manners and customs I have undertaken to describe. He there enters at length into the advantageous position of the country, and the upright and honourable character of its inhabitants, of whose singular probity he produces many proofs. Other writers have taken a different view of the modern Greek character. But I am disposed to place more reliance on the statement of M. Thiersch than on that of those prejudiced travellers who desire to obtain a reputation for exactness by an ill-natured interpretation of a free people whose hospitality they have enjoyed, and in too many cases abused.

1466. See a picture of this beast and his baskets, Antich. di Ercol. t. v. p. 5. In the book of Genesis, chap. xxxvii. v. 25, we find a brief picture of the commerce carried on by means of this animal, and an enumeration of some of the principal commodities which he bore from country to country. “And they (the sons of Jacob) sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes, and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmaelites came from Gilead, with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.”

1467. This is, moreover, the common opinion. Thus Dionysios (Perieg. v. 907, seq.)

—πρῶτοι νήεσσιν ἐπειρήσαντο θαλάσσης,
Πρῶτοι δ᾽ ἐμπορίης ἁλιδινέος ἐμνήσαντο.
They first in ships the billowy ocean tried,
And first sea-wandering commerce gave to man.

On this account Cicero observes: “Eos primos mercatores mercibus suis avaritiam, magnificentiam et inexplebiles cupiditates primum in Græciam intulisse.” De Rep. fr. l. 111. ap. Feith, Antiq. Hom. ii. 10. 1.

1468. Some such event as this is no doubt alluded to in the story of Cadmos.

1469. Apollodoros, recounting the exploits of the Argonauts, mentions incidentally a curious particular respecting the women of Lemnos, who, he says, were deserted by their husbands on account of the ill odour they exhaled. Their places were supplied by female slaves from Thrace; upon which, in revenge, they murdered all the men in the island, with the exception of Thoas, who was saved by his daughter, Hypsipyle. Biblioth. i. 9. 17. Cf. Pind. Pyth. iv. 159, sqq. ed. Dissen. whose commentary may be consulted, t. ii. p. 235.

1470. Odys. θ. 162. Hymn. in Apoll. 397.

1471. Odyss. ο. 414, seq.

1472. L. i. c. 2. See, also, Philost. Vit. Apollon. iii. 24. p. 114.

1473. Thucyd. i. 8. Tournefort, Voyage, i. 154. The Phocians, also, about the time when they founded Marseilles, distinguished themselves at once by their mercantile and piratical habits. Namque Phocenses exiguitate ac macie terræ coacti studiosius mare quam terras exercuêre: piscando, mercando plerumque etiam latrocinio maris quod illi temporibus gloriæ habebatur, vitam tolerabant. Justin. 43. 3.

1474. Conon. Dieg. 47. ap. Phot. Cod. 141. a. 20. Hudson, ad Thucyd. t. i. p. 302. See in Scheffer, De Re Militiâ Navali, Addenda, Lib. Prim. p. 313, a list of the nations who anciently exercised the piratical art.

1475. Il. η. 472, sqq. Cf. Plin. Hist. Nat. xxxiii. 1.

1476. Eidyll. i. 57, seq. where, for τυρόεντα, both Porson and Kiessling propose τυρῶντα. Ἄρτον τυρῶντα occurs in a fragment of Sophron. ap. Athen. iii. 75.

1477. Paus. iii. 12. 1-3.

1478. Justin, iii. 2.

1479. Il. ζ. 236.

1480. Ap. Feith, Antiq. Hom. ii. 10. 3.

1481. Tom. i. p. 188. ed. Bekk.

1482. Onomast. ix. 60.

1483. Ad Il. t. iv. p. 238. He remarks, that Arist. Ethic. v. 11, quotes this verse on showing that no man can be injured voluntarily—ἀδικεῖσθαι ἑκούσιον. That it became a proverb may be inferred from Cicero, ad Ath. vi. 1.

1484. Διδραχμον· τὸ δ`ε παλαιὸν τοῦτο ἦν Αθ᾿ηναῖοις νόμισμα καὶ ἐκαλεῖτο βοῦς, ὅτι βοῦν εἶχεν ἐντετυπωμένον Pollux. ix. 60.

1485. Spanheim, de Præstantia et Usu Numismatum Antiquorum, p. 129, 267.

1486. Thes. § 25. Cf. Goguet, t. iv. p. 228.

1487. Il. ι. 122. 264. σ. 507, sqq. Cf. Herod. i. 14. et Adnot. ad Ælian. i. 22. Goguet, iv. 229.

1488. Antiq. Homer. ii. 10. 3.

1489. Heyne, ad Il. σ. 507, who observes, justly no doubt, that we are ignorant what the Homeric talent weighed. Cf. Serv. ad Æneid. v. 112.

1490. Herod. viii. 137.

1491. Hymn. in Herm. 400. Pausan. iv. 3. 6.

1492. Judges, viii. 21, sqq.

1493. Origine de Loix, t. iv. p. 204.

1494. Buchanan, Journey through the Mysore, ii. p. 347. Hindoos, i. p. 44.

1495. Ælian. iii. 38.

1496. Müller, in his Æginetica. See on the subject of Commerce and Industry, c. iii. 74, sqq. And compare the account of Coronelli, Mémoires, &c., p. 187, sqq.

1497. By Müller, Æginetica, iii. p. 74.

1498. See Michaelo d’ Jorio, Storia del Commercio, i. 225, seq. and Caryophilus de Mercatura Veterum.

1499. Pausan. viii. 5. 5.

1500. Hom. Hymn. in Dionys. 8.

1501. Müller, Æginetica, p. 75.

1502. Opp. et Dies, 644.

1503. It was owing to such piratical descents that the early inhabitants of Greece, for the most part, erected their towns and villages at some distance from the sea-coast, in situations difficult of access. Thucyd. § 7. Similar reasons have elsewhere led in modern times to similar results. Thus, in Alicuda, the remotest and most exposed of the Lipari islands, the dwellings of their simple natives and their priests are perched high in the hills among rocks and steep acclivities, through fear of the Barbary corsairs, who, from time to time, land there, and carry away into captivity whomsoever they are able to seize and subdue. Further, to guard against these incursions, a sentinel is stationed on the Monte della Guardia, in the principal isle, where he keeps watch day and night. Spallanzani, Travels in the Two Sicilies, iv. 140, sqq. We have here a picture which carries back the imagination to the most barbarous ages of Grecian history.

1504. Æginetica, p. 76.

1505. Demosth. de Nicostrat. § 3.

1506. Æginetica, p. 77.

1507. Epist. to Titus, i. 12, where he cites the testimony of Euripides, though without naming him.

1508. Eustath. ad Il. β. p. 604. Hesych. v. Ἀιγιναῖα. Cf. Interp. i. 137. Schol. Pind. Ol. viii. 26. Erasm. Adag. 71, 72.

1509. Polit. iv. 4. 1.

1510. Herod. iv. 152. Cf. Bœckh, Pub. Econ. of Athens, i. 9.

1511. Herod. vii. 147. Polyæn. Stratag. vii. 15. 3.

1512. Perizon. ad Æl. xii. 10. Gog. v. 302.

1513. The jealousy excited in antiquity by the Æginetæ, was, in the seventeenth century, inspired into all the maritime states of Europe by the Dutch, who somewhat resembled those hardy and unscrupulous islanders. Observe the ingenuous alarms of our countryman, Sir Josiah Child, whose studies had evidently carried him beyond the counting-house,—“I think no true Englishman will deny that the season cries aloud to us to be up and doing, before our fields become unoccupied, and before the Dutch get too much the whip-hand of us, whom (in such a case, were they freed from their French fears which they labour under at present) I fear we should find as severe task-masters as ever the Athenians were to the lesser trading cities of Greece.” Discourse of Trade, Preface, p. 39.

1514. Herod. ii. 178.

1515. Hist. ii. 179. Müll. Æginet. p. 82.

1516. Müll. Dor. ii. 218.

1517. Aristot. Œcon. vi. 6. 11. p. 278, seq. Cf. Xen. Rep. Lac. vi. 3. 4. Aristot. Pol. ii. 2. 5. Plut. Laced. Instit.

1518. Dorians, ii. 218.

1519. Müll. Dor. ii. 219. Bœckh. Econ. of Athen. ii. 389.

1520. Ἀναγκαῖον ἐν τῇ τοιαύτῃ πολιτείᾳ τιμᾶσθαι τὸν πλούτον, ἄλλως τε κἂν τύχωσι γυναικοκρατούμενοι, καθάπερ τὰ πολλὰ τῶν στρατιωτικῶν καὶ πολεμικῶν γενῶν. Aristot. Polit. ii. 9.

1521. Econ. of Athen. ii. 385.

1522. Od. δ. 80, sqq. 351, sqq. Cf. Strab. i. 2. p. 62.

1523. Which is Bœckh’s fancy. ii. 386.

1524. The people of Byzantium are said by some writers to have imitated the Spartans in their numismatic taste, and like them to have used iron money. Πλάτων Πεισάνδρῳ “χαλεπῶς ἂν οἰκησαίμεν ἐν Βυζαντίοις, ὅπου σιδαρέοισι νομίσμασι χρῶνται.” Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 250.

1525. Bœckh, ii. 386. Plut. Lysand. § 17. See too the authorities quoted by Bœckh. l. i. § 15.

1526. Pollux. vi. 76.

1527. Bœckh, ii. 387. Without such a currency, Sparta, says Mr. Müller, would have been unable to send ambassadors to foreign states, or to take foreign mercenaries into pay. ii. 220.

1528. See the remarks of Monsieur Bitaubè, in his “Dissertation sur La Richesse de Sparte.” Nouveaux Mémoires de l’Acad. Roy. des Sciences et des Belles Lettres, de Berlin, t. xxxvii. 560.

1529. Müller. Dor. iii. 2. 3.

1530. Herod. i. 69.

1531. Book i. ch. iv. § 7.

1532. Thucyd. i. 120.

1533. Müller, iii. ch. x. § 10.

1534. Herod. vi. 70.

1535. Id. vi. 69.

1536. Plut. Agis, § 13. But this was at a late period, when rich men and usurers had monopolised all the wealth of Sparta.

1537. Herod, vi. 86.

1538. Müller, l. iii. ch. x. § 11.

1539. Plat. Alcib. i. t. v. p. 342, seq. This inferior production, with its admiration of courts and eunuchs, cannot be Plato’s, but contains, nevertheless, several curious facts. On the subject of Spartan wealth, however, it perfectly agrees with Plato’s own opinion in the Hippias, t. v. p. 414. Cf. Bitaubè, Sur la Richesse de Sparte. Nouveaux Mémoires de l’Académie Royale des Sciences et des Belles Lettres, de Berlin, xxxvii. 559.

1540. Esprit des Loix, xxi. 12.

1541. This was thought necessary even by so great a man as Lysander. Plut. Lysand. § 18.

1542. As in the case of Cleandridas, father of Gylippos.

1543. Athen. vi. 24.

1544. Thucyd. vi. 104. Plut. Pericl. § 22. Müller, ii. 225.

1545. Thucyd. iv. 53.

1546. Pausan. iii. 23. 1. Steph. de Urb. p. 672.

1547. Strab. viii. 5. l. ii. p. 186. Plin. Nat. Hist. ix. 60. xi. 22. xxxv. 26. Horat. Carm. ii. 18. 8. The purple of Laconia was esteemed only second to that of Phœnicia:—κόχλους δὲ ἐς βαφὴν πορφύρας παρέχεται τὰ ἐπιθαλλάσσια τῆς Λακωνικῆς ἐπιτηδειοτάτας μετά γε τὴν Φοινίκων θάλασσαν. Pausan. iii. 21. 6.

1548. Dapper, Description des Iles de l’Archipel. 554. Ælian. De Animal. xvii. 6.

1549. At least I find this notion in Dapper, Desc. de l’Arch. p. 375-378, who observes “D’autres assurent qu’elle avoit été ainsi nommée à cause du porphyre qu’on y trouve en abondance.” The name has with more probability, however, been derived from the purple fish (Πορφύρα) which abounds on the coast, ἐκαλεῖτο δὲ Πορφύρουσσα, διὰ τὸ κάλλος τὸ παρὰ τῶν πορφυρῶν, ὡς Ἀριστοτέλης. Steph. de Urb. 487, a. To the same purpose, Eustathius ad Dion. Perieg. 498: ἐκαλεῖτο δὲ, φασὶ, καὶ Πορφυροῦσσα ποτὲ, διὰ τὸ καλλίστας ἔχειν πορφύρας. Cf. ad Il. ο. p. 1031. 13. Plin. Nat. Hist. iv. 19.

1550. Paus. iii. 23. 1.

1551. This mythological incident is beautifully engraved in the Museo Real Borbonico, from an ancient painting found at Pompeia. Honest Buondelmonte, who, instead of describing the island, amuses himself with relating its mythology, delineates, elegantly enough, another picture of the floating goddess: “Sculpebatur etenim puella pulcherrima, nuda et in mari natans, tenens concham marinam in dextrâ, ornata rosis et à columbis circumvolantibus comitata, &c.” Christ. Buond. Lib. Insul. Archip. c. ix. p. 64.

1552. Dapper, Desc. de l’Archip. 375-379.

1553. Hom. Odyss. γ. 312.

1554. Thucyd. i. 9.

1555. Thucyd. i. 151.

1556. Plut. Cim. § 8.

1557. Luc. Dial. Mort. 11.

1558. Steph. de Urb. p. 464. d.

1559. Strab. viii. 6. t. ii. 213. Pausan. ii. 2. 3.

1560. Μαλεὰ δε κάμψας ἐπιλάθου τῶν οἴκαδε. See the long and interesting note of Berkelius ad Steph. de Urb. p. 531, seq.

1561. And, doubtless, worked by their forty-six myriads of slaves. Athen. vi. 103. The Pythian Oracle calls the Corinthians Chœnix Measurers, probably because they allowed their slaves a chœnix of corn per day.

1562. Paus. ii. 3. 3. Florus, ii. 16.

1563. It is said, moreover, that Iphilos established a fair at Olympia, together with the sacred games. Vel. Paterc. i. 8. Strab. viii. 3. t. i. p. 178.

1564. Dion Chrysost. i. 289.

1565. Plat. De Rep. ii. t. vi. p. 79. 84. See in Mons. Thiersch Etat. Actuel de la Grèce, t. ii. p. 74, a somewhat detailed description of the internal trade of modern Greece.

1566. Strab. viii. 3. t. ii. p. 151.

1567. Columel. i. Præf. ii. 1. Dacier, in Fest. i. p. 501.

1568. Dorians, ii. 223.

1569. Quæst. Græc. 29. Var. Script. t. ii. p. 317. Cf. Steph. de Urb. voce Δυῤῥάχιον, p. 316, sqq. Palmer. Descrip. Græc. Antiq. p. 73, sqq. 118, sqq. Pausan. vi. 10. 8.



To speak now of the commerce of Attica, the most extensive and important in the ancient world. It is an error shared by persons in other respects above the vulgar, that a commercial people is necessarily sordid; and hence Napoleon considered it opprobrious to the English, that they are a nation, as he expressed it, of shopkeepers. There are some lessons in the science of human nature that Napoleon had not learned, among which this is one,—that the greatest, wisest, and most virtuous of mankind have risen and flourished in trading communities, and been themselves in many instances engaged in commerce. No country in the modern world has produced men of more chivalrous honour or heroic disinterestedness than England; and in antiquity the Athenians, as a community and as individuals, far outshone in wisdom, high-mindedness, and patriotism, every other people with whom we could compare them. In one word, they were the English of antiquity;—bold, adventurous, indefatigable people, equally renowned in trade, philosophy, and war. That they were less fortunate may be accounted for from their geographical position, lacking the inestimable advantage which we enjoy in being seated on an island,—a misfortune well understood by Pericles, who alludes to it in his first oration for the war.[1570]

277No country, however fertile, produces all that its inhabitants, when advancing in civilisation, require, which tends more than any other circumstance to promote the amelioration of society; and Attica, from its comparative barrenness and very limited extent, peculiarly experienced the necessity of foreign commerce. To this accordingly the Athenians from a very early period applied themselves, and with so much success, that whatever commodities the ancient world produced were generally to be found in the greatest abundance in their city.[1571] They enjoyed as has been already observed, most of the advantages of insular position, that is,[1572] excellent harbours conveniently situated, in which they received supplies during all winds,[1573] and, in addition to these, some of the compensating advantages of being situated on the continent, in facilities for inland traffic. Chief of all, however, were the blessings flowing from the wisdom, and moderation, and liberality, of its government, which rendered Athens the resort of all the enterprising and enlightened men of every other country. Its dealings with foreigners were facilitated by the purity of the coin, as the traders who did not choose to purchase merchandise might take bullion, which, as Xenophon expresses it, was a very handsome article, and of so little alloy as everywhere to pass for more than its nominal value, like the old Spanish dollars, and English gold currency in the East.[1574] Prohibitions to export money, as Bœckh observes, were unknown in ancient times, and are only compatible with bills of exchange.[1575]

Though war to a certain extent interfered with Athenian commerce, yet, being masters of the sea, they could generally command a plentiful supply of foreign commodities, so that many articles regarded 278as rare in other countries might be found abundantly in the warehouses of the Peiræeus. “Hither, on account of the richness of our city,” says Pericles, “are borne the products of all lands, so that we are not more familiar with the use of wheat grown in Attica than with the productions of other countries.”[1576] So Isocrates: “the Peiræeus, has been established as an emporium in the heart of Greece, and so far excels all its rivals, that articles with difficulty met with singly in other ports may be readily found here altogether.”[1577] And true it is, that every region of the east and island of the Mediterranean poured their productions into Attica, whence they were distributed throughout Greece. Thither were brought the magnificent carpets and fine wool of Persia, Phrygia, and Miletos; the gloves and purple of Tyre and Sidon; the fine linen of Egypt;[1578] the gold and ivory of Africa; the pearls of India and the Red Sea;[1579] white and black slaves, and corn, and timber, and spices, and costly wines, and perfumes from Spain, Sicily, Italy, Cypros, Lydia, the Black Sea, and the farthest regions of the east.[1580]

This extended commerce, and the encouragement which strangers of all countries found to settle at Athens, rendered it the home of all languages and religions,[1581] and led to the adoption of many barbarous words. But she thus created a boundless market for her own exports, whether consisting of manufactures or the surplus produce of the soil; and as we now retail to the Continental nations many productions of Eastern Asia, so the Athenians disposed, in the uncommercial countries around, of the commodities they had elsewhere collected. For example, they found a vent among the nations on the Black 279Sea for the wines of the islands and shores of the Ægean, Peparethos, Cos, Thasos, Mendè, Skionè, Lemnos, and Crete.[1582] From a passage in Xenophon, it would appear either that Greek sailors amused themselves by reading on their voyages, or that books were exported to Pontos, for there seems to be no foundation for the suspicions that they were blank books.[1583] “Here,” says Xenophon, speaking of the coast of Thrace, “are found numerous beds, cabinets, books, and such other things as shipmasters are accustomed to transport in chests.”[1584] Theopompos represents the Persians as carrying books (χάρται βιβλίων) along with them in their invasion of Egypt, and the Greeks could have been scarcely less literary.[1585] Certain, at all events, it is, that there was a book-market at Athens, probably resembling the bazars of the East, where the dealers in manuscripts kept their shops;[1586] and thence, in all likelihood, the Greek cities on the Black Sea were supplied; and this is by no means inconsistent with the proverb respecting Hermodoros, Plato’s Sicilian publisher, who was said, contemptuously, to traffic in words; for, as he himself was one of Plato’s hearers, it may have been thought beneath him to turn trader.[1587] Somewhat later we read of Zeno, a stranger in the city, going into a bookseller’s shop to sit down, where he finds the owner reading Xenophon, and is recommended by him to follow Crates.[1588]

So extensive a trade as Athens carried on could not be conducted without protecting regulations, and the co-operation of a commercial police. Accordingly the government exhibited much wisdom and 280liberality in whatever related to commerce, by all means seeking to encourage enterprise and industry. Numerous officers were appointed to watch over the commercial dealings of the citizens; such as the superintendents of the harbour, ten persons appointed annually by lot; the overseers of the market, likewise ten, of whom five superintended the markets in the city, the other five, those in the Peiræeus; fifteen inspectors of weights and measures, ten of whom attended in the city, the other five those in the port; and subordinate, probably, to these were the public meters, who seem to have been Scythians, and therefore slaves of the state: their duty was to measure whatever grain was sold in the market,[1589] for which was paid a small sum, applied, it may be supposed, to the augmentation of the revenue. Great care, in fact, was bestowed on the subject of weights and measures, and to the market regulations generally; and yet we find from the comic poets[1590] that much fraud was occasionally committed.[1591]

It is, by some writers, supposed that credit was at a low ebb in Greece; but this notion seems to have been formed hastily, without allowing for circumstances, as the condition of the times sufficiently accounts for the facts which suggested it; for all large and established houses are known to have possessed almost unlimited credit, since they were able, on the mere security of their name, to raise whatever money they needed; so that none, probably, but persons little known, or not known advantageously, were required to give security.[1592] The inhabitants of certain cities, as, for example, of Phaselis, enjoyed, as we say, a bad reputation,[1593] and were, no doubt, among those whom people refused to trust.

281If severity, however, in the laws of debtor and creditor have any tendency to support credit, the confiding portion of the community had little reason to complain at Athens, since the spirit of this branch of Athenian jurisprudence was unusually stern. The man who obtained the loan of money and fraudulently withheld his security, was deemed to have committed a capital offence, nor could his high rank or honourable connexions skreen him from punishment.[1594] For it was considered, observes the orator, that an offender of this description not only defrauded the individuals with whom he dealt, but also made an attempt against the sources of public prosperity, commercial operations depending not on the borrower but on the lender, without whose coöperation no ship, or captain, or passenger, can move. On which account the most effective protection was afforded them by law.

Merchants and sea-captains were also defended by very severe enactments against false accusers, who, upon conviction, were heavily fined, and, in default of payment, deprived of the rights of citizenship.[1595] Causes of this kind were tried in the Commercial Court of the Nautodikæ, which was also empowered to examine the claims of citizens accused of foreign extraction.[1596] The causes were introduced by the Thesmothetæ, and in lawsuits between citizens of different nations, by virtue of 282a particular agreement, there existed an appeal from one state to the other.[1597] Nothing more clearly shows the consideration in which nautical and mercantile affairs were held at Athens, than the laws which regulated the proceedings of this court: in the first place, not to interrupt the course of business and occasion loss to individuals, the Nautodikæ sat during the winter months, from September till March, when navigation was usually suspended. At first, indeed, they did not commence their sittings till January;[1598] but this was found inconvenient, the decision of the court being frequently delayed till late in the spring or summer, to the great loss and detriment of the litigants. Consequences still more disastrous, perhaps, ensued when the cause stood over till the ensuing winter, when, as new judges would be appointed, the whole business had to be commenced de novo. To remedy this evil a plan of reform was conceived by Xenophon,[1599] but with nothing like a statesman’s views, its chief merit consisting in proposing a prize to be awarded to the most able and expeditious judge. His scheme, however, may have had the merit of fixing the attention of wiser men upon the subject, which at length produced the monthly suits to which belonged all causes concerning trade-clubs, dowries, and mines.[1600] Upon the introduction of this improvement in the practice of the commercial court the advantage proposed by Xenophon was fully obtained, since causes could not, as some have imagined, stand over from month to month, but must absolutely be decided within the term.[1601] The more completely to protect and advance the interests of commerce, each state had its consul[1602] (προξένος) who represented 283the interests of his country, and, like our own consuls in the Levant, was bound to receive and entertain such citizens as arrived at the port where he resided. Besides, when a merchant or trader died abroad, it was part of the consul’s duty to take charge of his property, and transmit immediately to his friends an account of what had taken place, with the necessary particulars.[1603] Occasionally, however, very improper persons obtained this respectable and, no doubt, lucrative situation, as the man Lycidas, formerly one of Chabrias’s slaves, who contrived, by intrigue, to be appointed consul of Messina; and Dionysios, a man of like origin and character, and by birth a Megarean, who enjoyed the honour of representing Athens at Megara.[1604]

It has been made a question, whether or not perfect freedom of trade existed among the ancients, and upon the whole it appears, that among the Athenians, at least, no unwise or vexatious interference habitually took place.[1605]

Bœckh remarks that, in the plan of Xenophon for restoring the revenue, no allusion is made to the removal of onerous restrictions on trade; from which it may be inferred that none such existed. Heeren[1606] is clearly of this opinion: “nothing was known of the balance of trade, and consequently all the violent measures resulting from it were never devised by the Greeks. They had duties as well as the moderns; but these duties were exacted only for the sake of increasing the public revenue, not to direct the efforts of domestic industry by the prohibition of certain wares. There was no prohibition of the exportation of the raw 284produce; no encouragement of manufactures at the expense of the agriculturist. In this respect, therefore, there existed a freedom of industry, commerce, and trade. And such was the general custom. As every thing was decided by circumstances, and not by theories, there may have been single exceptions, and perhaps single examples, where the state for a season usurped a monopoly. But how far was this from the mercantile and restrictive system of the moderns!”

This it appears to me is the philosophical view of the matter, which is not modified materially by the remarks of Bœckh. No doubt the interests of the state were regarded as paramount, comprehending, as in just states they do, the interests of all individuals; but for this very reason they would, to the best of their knowledge, beware of interfering capriciously or unnecessarily with private interests, since a prosperous community cannot be constituted of unprosperous members. Mr. Bœckh seems, with all his learning and acuteness, to misapprehend the political theory of the ancients, and to imagine that, because the right of governments to regulate the actions of individuals was recognized, they might safely do so on all occasions without rhyme or reason. But in this he is certainly in error. The object of government was understood then as well as it is now; so that I am apt to think that the erudite professor advances, in the following passage, a doctrine which would have met with but a cold reception among the Athenians, though adopted literally by the historians of the Doric race: “Not in Crete and Lacedæmon alone, two states completely closed up, and from their position unsusceptible of free trade, but generally throughout the whole of Greece, and even under the free and republican government of Athens, the poorest as well as the richest citizen was convinced that the state had the right of claiming the whole property of every individual; 285any restriction in the transfer of this property, regulated according to circumstances, was looked upon as just, nor could it properly be considered an infringement of justice before the security of person and property was held to be the sole object of government; a light under which it never was viewed by any of the ancients.”[1607]

It would be difficult to select from any writer, ancient or modern, a passage more abounding than this with erroneous conclusions. Neither Lacedæmon nor Crete was excluded by its position from the advantages of free trade; and at Athens there was no citizen, however poor or ignorant, who acknowledged in the state any such right as Mr. Bœckh speaks of, except for the purpose of providing for the general safety, in which case it would be as cheerfully acknowledged in every modern community. While penning the concluding sentence, Mr. Bœckh must have been thinking of the despotic governments of Germany. An Englishman considers the preservation of his political rights as much an object of government as the protection of his person or his property, and would as strenuously contend for it, in which feeling he resembles the Athenian. But I will not permit even this theme to tempt me from the matter in hand.

There can be no difficulty in admitting that, as the very existence of commerce, properly so called, depends on the existence of political communities, the state has a right to interfere, under certain circumstances, with the movements of commerce. For example, merchants may justly be prevented by the laws from furnishing their country’s enemy with arms, with ammunition, with provisions, in short, with any article whatsoever, which, by strengthening the hands of the foe, may tend to the detriment of their own community. Again, in famines and scarcities, the law of self-preservation authorizes states to restrain 286the exportation of articles absolutely required for home consumption; because distress produces discontent and tumult and insurrection, and may thus endanger the very existence of the government itself. Prohibitions to export, originating in such motives, are perfectly defensible. But so much can scarcely be said for monopolies, which were not unknown to the Greeks, though it is not denied that they were of short duration.[1608] “It can, however, be safely asserted,” says Mr. Bœckh, “that no republic ever demanded of its citizens that they should furnish commodities to the state in specific quantities, and at prices arbitrarily fixed at a low rate, with a view to secure to itself a monopoly: such a demand could only have been enforced in countries under the government of a tyrant.”[1609] The folly, as well as the wickedness, of such despotic interference, I witnessed in the depopulation and misery of Egypt, which at length proceeded so far as to alarm the Pasha himself, and produce some amelioration of his vicious system.

It is, no doubt, possible, that many monopolies of which we know nothing may have existed in antiquity;[1610] but it will be quite evident that, upon such possibility, it would be useless to reason. The monopolies which we know to have existed were few, and of short duration. Aristotle, while observing what advantages both individuals and states sometimes derived from them, attributes a better policy to Athens. He gives two or three examples of private monopolies, the well-known story of Thales and the oil-presses, and that of a man who bought up all the iron[1611] at Syracuse, and adds, that, in great pecuniary straits, governments were sometimes found to imitate them.[1612] Thus, at a late period of their history, the Athenians are supposed to have monopolised the lead obtained from the silver mines of 287Laureion, which they did, we are told, at the instigation of Pythoclos; that is, they bought it up at the usual price of two drachmas the commercial talent, and sold it at six drachmas.[1613] At Rome the price was higher. As there can be little doubt that the lead was for exportation, no injury was inflicted on individuals. With respect to the monopoly granted by the Byzantines to a banker, it may be observed, that it was only one of the many shifts to which the nakedness of their treasury compelled them to have recourse. The list is given in the second book of the Economics, and is not without interest. I would not affirm that their contrivances were innocent.[1614] Again, the Selymbrians, in a period of public difficulty, constituted themselves monopolists in a manner which Mr. Bœckh might fearlessly have pronounced “less defensible.” By law they were not permitted to export in times of scarcity; but being in want of money, they decreed that the state should purchase all the old stock at a fixed price, leaving individuals sufficient for their yearly consumption, after which they sold the surplus at a higher price, with permission to export.[1615]

It is difficult to say what men will agree to consider “perfect freedom of trade;” but it appears to me, that commerce was as unshackled at Athens as it could have been consistently with the welfare of the community. Mr. Bœckh says, “There are abundant proofs that exportation and importation were regulated according to the exigencies and interests of the community, which is by no means consistent 288with the perfect freedom of trade.”[1616] There appears to lurk a fallacy in this. Such freedom as this writer would call perfect is inconsistent with the very existence of civil society, whose fundamental laws require that no man’s freedom shall trench upon the freedom, and still less upon the life, of another. But if in commerce the exigencies and interests of the community could have been set at nought, there would have been an end of such community, since frequently its well-being, if not its being, depended on its commercial relations with foreign states.

So far, therefore, it must, doubtless, be admitted, that commerce was not free. To this extent, and no further, does Aristotle counsel or contemplate interferences with trade: “With regard to importation and exportation,” he says, “it is necessary to know how large a supply of provisions the state requires, and what proportion of them can be produced in the country and what imported, and what imports and exports are necessary for the state, in order that commercial treaties and agreements may be concluded with those of whom the state must make use for this purpose.”[1617]

With regard to the prohibition to export attributed to Solon, it is necessary either to abandon the subject altogether, or to understand it in the contrary sense to that usually given. Plutarch, as his text now stands, tells a very strange story, observing, that the exportation of every thing but oil was prohibited by Solon, and therefore he adds, it is not wholly improbable that figs also were prohibited.[1618] I understand the matter differently. Solon, probably observing that Attica, at that time, produced barely sufficient oil for its own consumption, prohibited its exportation, though as agriculture improved, the law fell into desuetude, and oil became a principal export. From this example, Plutarch 289thinks it not improbable, that figs also may at some time or another have been prohibited. The matter is thus clear and natural. Besides, the Scholiast on Pindar, alluding no doubt to some particular period, observes, that the exportation of oil was not permitted.[1619] It is therefore surprising that Bœckh should have laid any stress at all on so contradictory a passage, without endeavouring to restore it, particularly as Solon was himself a merchant and a transgressor of his supposed law. That the exportation of corn should not have been allowed is both intelligible and reasonable, as Attica never produced sufficient for its own consumption; and they were not disposed to adopt the system of the modern Tuscans, who would sell their own corn to the English, and subsist on an inferior sort from the Black Sea, if indeed it be inferior.[1620]

Certain commodities were, however, undoubtedly not allowed to be exported, as for example, timber, tar, wax, rigging, and “leathern bottles, articles which,” as Bœckh observes, “were particularly important for the building and equipment of the fleet.”[1621] But the word which this distinguished scholar conceives to mean “leathern bottles,” had a very different signification, and meant that leathern defence through which the oars passed, and which was designed to keep the sea from rushing in at the row-port. This we gather as well from the scholiast on Aristophanes,[1622] as from several passages of Pollux overlooked by Bœckh. This writer observes, that the leathern defence of the row-port was called ἄσκωμα,[1623] and elsewhere he says that a woman’s breast, when full of milk, was also so 290called;[1624] from which we may conjecture what form the askoma assumed, when the oar forced it outwards during the act of rowing. Nor do I suppose that such prohibition existed only during time of war, for it would have been equally imprudent to furnish such articles to men preparing for war, as men always are in peace, as to such as were actually engaged in it. From a passage in Theophrastus, it has been inferred that permission to export timber for ship-building was sometimes granted free of duty to individuals; but as it is the Boaster who makes the assertion, adding that, to avoid envy, he never made use of it,[1625] it may be regarded as no less a joke than the reason for prohibiting lamp-wicks from Bœotia, viz., that they might set the fleet on fire![1626]

The prohibition to export arms during war to the country of the enemy, and that under pain of death,[1627] was an obvious measure of self-defence. In time of peace, however, the trade in arms was as free as any other trade; and the Athenians imported from their neighbours, the Bœotians, helmets,[1628] in the manufacture of which this people excelled. No doubt, as states derive the sinews of war, in part at least, from commerce, the Athenians had the sagacity to attack their enemies in the vulnerable point of their pride, for the purpose of bringing them the sooner to reason. They thus, too, taught the inferior states, such as Megara and Bœotia, that Athens was independent of them in all respects, while it was for them to 291consider whether they were equally independent of her.[1629] Thus the Ocean Queen of antiquity was said to exercise (as Great Britain formerly) a despotic sway over trade; as when, for example, she exacted a tenth from all ships sailing to or from the Black Sea;[1630] though in this, as in all human affairs, the despotism[1631] arose naturally from the possession of superior power, and could scarcely have been guarded against. To weaken the enemy by every possible means was the object of a wise policy; so that in contemplating every coast belonging to a power not in alliance with Athens as in a state of blockade,[1632]—in seizing, capturing, or detaining, all vessels of every description by which her interests could be infringed, Athens only acted in self-defence. That she was hated for her superiority we need not be surprised, who know with what heart-burnings and secret aversion our own maritime supremacy has ever been beheld by the nations of the Continent, who repeat against us all the accusations anciently muttered by the surrounding states against Athens.

Utopian speculators, reading history in their easy chairs, find it facile to condemn the measures of ancient statesmen. But allowing them to have been reprehensible, it remains to be seen whether, in the same circumstances, we could have carried any better into execution; for the ability to imagine better is nothing, unless we suppose that events always allow men to act up to their knowledge. However this may be, the Athenian government found itself compelled by its position sometimes to interfere with the course of trade; but it may well be doubted whether any other freedom of trade than there existed be either possible or desirable. For, both commerce, and every other mode in which the energies of a nation can develope themselves, should no otherwise 292exist than as they are beneficial to the nation at large; and of this the managers of public business ought always to be better judges than merchants or speculators, who only consider their own interests, which may not always be identical with those of the state. I am far, however, from designing to maintain that the commercial regulations of Athens were in no case oppressive. Perhaps in the matter of the corn-trade they were so; and yet much may be said for a populous city surrounded by a barren country, and therefore solicitous about its own subsistence. Let us examine those regulations. According to the letter of the law, which was often transgressed, no inhabitant of Athens could land a cargo of corn anywhere but on the Peiræeus; but, arrived there, and the necessities of the state provided for, the remainder could be disposed of elsewhere. This was the full amount of the grievance, if it ought to be so called.

With respect to the law which is supposed to have restrained capitalists from lending money on any vessel not returning to Athens with corn or other commodities, it would be highly unreasonable, with Mr. Bœckh, to denominate it “excessively oppressive,” until we understand it.[1633] For my own part, until something better be proposed, I must adopt the interpretation of Salmasius, that it was not permitted to lend money for the purpose of buying corn in other countries except upon the condition, that that corn should be imported into Athens.[1634] There no doubt are difficulties attending this view of the matter; but this is equally the case in whichever way we understand it. It may have been that, in order to render Athens as far as possible the emporium of the world, the law required that money should not be lent to merchants or supercargoes, unless it was their intention to return 293thither with a lading, whether of corn or some other commodity. But even this seems very doubtful.

But, by whatever laws this branch of trade was regulated, no doubt can exist as to its extent and importance. For, as the population of Attica had, at a very early period, outgrown the means of subsistence supplied by the country itself, the republic found itself constrained to depend for the primary article of food upon the productions of foreign states, to the amount of nearly one-third of its whole consumption; that is to say, while there were grown at home two hundred and ninety-two thousand three hundred and ninety-two quarters, as may be proved by calculation,[1635] there were imported a hundred and eighteen thousand quarters in the age of Demosthenes. Earlier its importation of corn was still more considerable, when the greater part of the supply was obtained from Eubœa, by the way of Oropos and the pass of Deceleia.[1636]

Of the hundred and eighteen thousand quarters abovementioned, about sixty thousand were obtained from the countries on the Black Sea, chiefly from Theodosia, now Kaffa,[1637] in the Crimea, the remainder 294from Thrace, the islands of the Ægæan, Egypt, and Sicily.[1638]

Yet the people of Athens were subject to few scarcities; and those they experienced happened in later times, when their enemies had acquired the superiority at sea. For so long as this state attended to her own navy and maintained her maritime supremacy, there was never, I believe, a deficiency of the grain in Peiræeus,[1639] though attempts were frequently made by the corn-dealers to create a monopoly and extort famine prices from the public,[1640] for which they were sometimes punished with death. Numerous proofs of the ease with which Athens could provision herself, occurred during the latter years of the Peloponnesian war, and the age immediately succeeding. Thus, when the Spartans, with their king Agis, were in possession of the pass of Deceleia, and ravaged habitually the whole territory of Attica, they felt that even the occupation of that important post was scarcely of any avail to them so long as Athens remained mistress of the sea, since they daily saw numbers of corn ships from all parts of the Levant, sailing into the Peiræeus.[1641] Afterwards, when the Spartans had begun to apply themselves to naval affairs, one of their first endeavours was to distress Attica, by attacking her corn ships, as on the occasion when Pollis sought to capture the transports in the neighbourhood of Geræstos, which however were relieved by the fleet under Chabrias.[1642]

No inconvenience was ever experienced from the reluctance of the corn-growing states to export their 295produce. On the contrary, the petty kings of the countries on the Euxine were so anxious to secure to themselves the custom of Athens, that they conferred on that state numerous privileges and made her great presents, in order to tempt her corn ships into their harbours and prevent the application to rival states. It may indeed be said, that peace was scarcely ever interrupted between Athens and the exporting countries, and that not through the Athenians truckling to them to obtain their corn, but through their truckling to the Athenians to be allowed to supply them. Thus, as far as the experience of antiquity can be relied on, it must be concluded, that the country which purchases agricultural produce invariably exercises a paramount influence over the countries which supply it. It is in fact a rule all the world over, that it is the customer who coerces the dealer, not the dealer who influences the customer.

But, further, this immense importation of grain did not throw any of the lands of Attica, however poor and barren, out of cultivation.[1643] On the contrary, the powers of the soil were still taxed to the utmost, and the processes of agriculture carried to a much higher degree of perfection than in any other part of Greece.[1644] In fact, with its vineyards, the whole of Attica resembled a continued garden up to the very walls of the city.[1645] From which, as well as from positive testimony, it appears evident, that the Athenians always retained their partiality for rural labours,[1646] notwithstanding the extent to which the manufacturing system was carried among them. The cultivation of the soil has, indeed, so many charms for mankind, that they will never desert it so long as it is able to provide for their wants. Men become manufacturers only when they can no longer live by agriculture.

296It should, perhaps, he added, that of the grain imported into the Peiræeus the surplus was frequently exported to other parts of Greece, when the wants of the commonwealth had been properly supplied, and that a slight fixed duty, for the sake of revenue, appears to have been always levied on imported grain.[1647]

But this necessary of life was not generally paid for in specie. On the contrary, it was with manufactures that Greece purchased the corn of the rude nations on the Euxine, whom, by her trade, she gradually reclaimed from barbarism, inoculated with a taste for harmless luxuries, and, at length, even for Hellenic literature.[1648]

In one case we find that the Nomadic Scythians applied themselves to the cultivation of the soil, and, of course, became stationary merely for the purpose of supplying Greece with corn.[1649] Again, in the later ages of the Roman republic, when a corn-field was a rarity in Italy, which had been almost entirely converted by the nobility into gardens and pleasure-grounds,[1650] Sicily, Egypt, and other agricultural countries of the Levant, furnished so ample a supply of grain, that scarcity was never experienced, except when the public officers were grossly negligent of their duty. In fact, the carrying trade devolved upon the Phœnicians, who, to a great extent subsisting by it alone, were necessarily most careful, for their own sake, to keep up the supply.[1651] Had the Romans been themselves a commercial people, like the English, their traffic might have been still better regulated.

To return, however: it is admitted, that liberal as, upon the whole, the principles of trade were in antiquity, those of the Athenians were the most so of any.[1652] The Argives and Æginetans, at one 297period, prohibited the importation of Athenian manufactures, particularly their pottery, or, at least, prohibited the use of them in religious ceremonies, though up to that period they had been allowed. The object, of course, was to bring their own earthenware into use, Argos,[1653] especially, possessing a manufacture which at length rivalled that of Attica itself. It is regarded as a mark of ancient simplicity, that neither gold nor silver, nor jewelled plate, but fictile vases merely, were originally employed in making libations to the gods.[1654]

The same principles which regulated maritime commerce governed also the intercourse which nations carried on by land. It would, therefore, be unreasonable to look for what is, oddly enough, denominated “unrestricted freedom,” since, without at all admitting that “the police mixed itself with everything,” we cannot deny that the state, in this, as in all other respects, sought to advance its own interests. Foolish attempts were sometimes made to bring down the price of certain necessaries, as salt, an example of which is mentioned by Aristophanes; but the law was soon abrogated.[1655] Had the state been disposed to interfere tyrannically in anything, it would have been where corn was concerned. It is, however, admitted by Bœckh, who has taken the wrong side on this question, that in this article “we certainly find a great freedom of prices,” though the law interfered to prevent the evil consequences to the public of combinations among corn-dealers for the purpose of creating a monopoly.[1656]

In general, the business of retail-dealing in the market was confined by law to the citizens, but this was not always rigidly enforced, since we find Egyptians, Phœnicians, and other foreigners, had 298their stalls there, for which, it would appear, they paid a distinct duty.[1657] They were more especially found among the fishmongers and dealers in small wares. But, in the Peiræeus, the number of foreign traders greatly exceeded that of the natives. For their use, moreover, a species of exchange (δεῖγμα) was created, whither they brought specimens of their merchandise for exhibition, the place being usually crowded with buyers from all the neighbouring countries. This was, possibly, the most striking scene in Greece, crowded with merchants from the East, in their gorgeous and varied costumes, intermingled with Greeks of all classes, and gay women who came hither to see and be seen.[1658]

On the prices of things in antiquity, compared with those at present prevailing, we have only one way of judging, and that is by ascertaining whether a greater degree of labour was required to provide the necessaries of life. The contrary was certainly the case in Attica, which, nevertheless, was, probably, the most expensive place of residence in the world. Even the slaves would appear to have enjoyed more leisure and exemption from toil than the industrious classes of our own most industrious community: and the citizens themselves, with their numerous festivals and amusements, public and private, evidently devoted a far greater proportion of their time to pleasure than would now be possible to any save the opulent. This, in fact, resulted from the moderate custom duties charged by the state, but much more from the superior fertility of the soil, which yielded greater returns for less labour, and from the comparative fewness 299of unproductive inhabitants. In modern language, the supply was greater in proportion to the demand. Still, it appears quite certain, that, though the duties laid on by the state were moderate, the merchants and retail dealers made very great profits. “This,” as Bœckh observes, “is sufficiently proved by the high rate of interest on money lent upon bottomry, in which thirty per cent for one summer was not unfrequently paid.”[1659]

I am not quite sure that, as a general rule, “a high rate of interest and profit is an infallible sign that industry and trade are yet in their infancy,” and still less that lowness of interest is a sign of a flourishing country.[1660] On the contrary, I should infer, from the former, that trade was in that healthy state in which it is scarcely a speculation; and, from the latter, that its current had become stagnant. However, a high interest was paid, and great profits were made in antiquity. Of this a striking example is furnished by Herodotus. A Samian ship trading with Egypt was, by some accident, led to push its way westward, as far as Tartessos, in Iberia, antecedent to the period at which the Greeks began to trade regularly with that port.[1661] What the nature and value of its cargo may have been is not known, any more than the articles which it received in exchange. The conjecture, however, that it received silver at a low rate, as the Phœnicians anciently did, is not improbable. At all events, the merchants engaged in this adventure cleared upon that one cargo the sum of sixty talents, of which, in pious gratitude, they dedicated a tenth to Hera the tutelar goddess of their island. And this historian adds, that, with the exception of Sostratos of Ægina, the most fortunate of mercantile adventurers, no Grecian merchant had ever up to his time made so successful a voyage.

1570. Thucyd. i. 143. Bœckh, therefore, is certainly in error when he says, that Attica enjoyed all the advantages of insular position. Book i. § 9.

1571. Cf. Xen. de Rep. Athen. ii. 6.

1572. Bœckh, Pub. Econ. of Athens, i. 65.

1573. Xenoph. de Vectig. i. 7.

1574. Id. iii. 2.

1575. Bœckh. Pub. Econ. of Athens, i. 65.

1576. Thucyd. ii. 38.

1577. Isocrat. Panath. § 11.

1578. Demosth. cont. Aphob. § 6.

1579. Philost. Vit. Soph. ii. 21. § 2. See chapters xi. xii. and xiii. of this book.

1580. Bœckh, i. 66.

1581. Strab. ix. 1. Xen. de Rep. Athen. ii. 7.

1582. Bœckh, i. 66. Demosth. in Laert. § 8.

1583. Bœckh, i. 67.

1584. Anab. vii. 5. 14. Larcher would read βυβλία, and translate “beaucoup de cordages;” but where he learned that sailors used to carry cables, or cordage either, in their sea-chests, does not appear.

1585. Ap. Longin. De Sublim. § 43.

1586. Pollux, ix. 47, with the commentary, t. vi. p. 934, seq.

1587. Cicero ad Att. xiii. 29. Suid. in v. λόγοισιν Ἑρμόδωρος ἐμπορεύεται. t. ii. p. 54. b.

1588. Diog. Laert. vii. p. 164. c.

1589. Harpocrat. in v. προμετρητὴς; and see the note of Gronovius, p. 111, seq. Bekker omits more than half the article, p. 158.

1590. Aristoph. Eq. 1005.

1591. But see Bœckh, Corp. Inscript. i. 164.

1592. Vid. Bern. adv. Polycl. § 15. Compare Thiersch, Etat Actuel de la Grèce, ii. 78, seq. 85.

1593. See the opening of the speech against Lacritos (§ 1), where the orator heaps his compliments unsparingly upon those “honest dealers,” whom he describes as “the most unjust and villanous of mankind:” πονηρότατοι ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἀδικώτατοι.

1594. Dem. in Phorm. § 17. Mr. Bœckh, if the English translation exactly represents his meaning, understands this passage differently, and his interpretation is more favourable to the Athenian law: “Even a citizen, who, in his capacity of a merchant, withdrew from a creditor a pledge for a sum vested in bottomry, could be punished with loss of life.” (Pub. Econ. of Athens, i. 69.) It may be doubted, however, whether οὐ παρασχόντα τὰς ὑποθήκας can mean anything more than “withholding the securities;” and I, therefore, suppose Bœckh’s translators to have employed the verb “withdraw” for “withhold.”

1595. Liban. arg. ad Orat. in Theocrin. t. viii. p. 334.

1596. Poll. viii. 126. Petit, v. 5. p. 522.

1597. Bœckh, i. 69. Cf. Kühn ad Poll. viii. 63. t. iv. p. 675.

1598. Lysias, περὶ δημος. χρημ. § 4. Harpocrat. v. ναυτοδίκη, p. 131. Suid. t. ii. p. 208, seq. Cf. Sigon. de Repub. Athen. iv. 3. 441.

1599. De Vectigal. iii. 3.

1600. Poll. viii. 63. 101, with the Notes. Bœckh. i. 70.

1601. Demosth. in Apatur. § 7, in Pantænet. § 1.

1602. Demosth. in Callip. § 3, adv. Leptin. § 14. Suid. in v. p. 609. a. b. Poll. iii. 59. viii. 91. Προξένους ἐκάλουν, τοὺς τεταγμένους εἰς τὸ ὑποδέχεσθαι τοὺς ξένους τοὺς ἐξ ἄλλων πόλεων ἥκοντας. Schol. Aristoph. Av. 1022. Kust.

1603. Bœckh, Pub. Econ. of Athens, i. 71.

1604. Demosth. adv. Lept. § 28. Cf. Dem. in Callip. § 3.

1605. Publ. Econ. of Athens, i. 71, seq. Xen. de Vectigal. passim. Cf. Heeren, Polit. Hist. of Anc. Greece, c. x. p. 163.

1606. Polit. Hist. of Anc. Greece, c. x. p. 163.

1607. Public Economy of Athens, i. 72.

1608. Aristot. Polit. i. 7.

1609. Pub. Econ. of Athens, i. 73.

1610. Id. Ibid.

1611. Dr. Gillies translates “corn,” and calls the man a banker! “Ethics and Politics,” ii. 52.

1612. Aristot. Pol. i. 11, seq. 18, seq. Bekk.

1613. Aristot. Œcon. ii. 37. Bœckh it is who conjectures the commercial to be meant, no weight being mentioned in the original. Pub. Econ. of Ath. i. 44. 73. Cf. Plin. Nat. Hist, xxxiv. 48. Dr. Wordsworth restores, with great felicity, the true reading in the passage of Aristotle: τῶν ἀργυρίων for τῶν τυρίων. Athens and Attica, p. 208. Bœckh’s conjecture, though ingenious, is less probable. Publ. Econ. ii. 429.

1614. Aristot. Œcon. ii. 4.

1615. Id. ii. 18. From Mr. Bœckh’s account it might seem as though the exportation of corn was always prohibited at Selymbria (Pub. Econ. i 73); whereas this was the case during famines only.

1616. Pub. Econ. i. 73, seq.

1617. Rhet. i. 4.

1618. Plut. Solon. § 24.

1619. Pind. Nem. x. 64. Shulz. Cf. Dissen. t. ii. 505. Petit, p. 417.

1620. Bowring, Statistics of Tuscany, p. 15. Ulpian, to whom Bœckh, i. 74, refers, merely repeats the well-known prohibition to ship-captains to take a cargo of corn to any foreign port. Orat. x. p. 271. a.

1621. Economy of Athens, p. 75.

1622. Ran. 364: ἄσκωμα δὲ δερμάτιον τι ᾧ ἐν ταῖς τριήρεσι χρῶνται, καθ᾽ ὁ ἡ κώπη βάλλεται.

1623. Pollux. i. 88: τὸ δὲ πρὸς αὐτῷ τῷ σκαλμῷ δέρμα ἄσκωμα.

1624. Pollux. ii. 164: τὸ δε ὑποπιμπλάμενον τοῦ γάλακτος, κὸλπος καὶ ἄσκωμα. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 97. Hescych. Etym. Mag. et Suid. in v. But more especially Scheffer, De Militiâ Navali, p. 13, Cf. Brunck ad Ran. 364. This confirms the extremely ingenious conjecture of Mitford, though he was mistaken in supposing the thing to have been called ὑπηρέσιον, which meant simply “a cushion.” Hist. of Greece, iii. 154. Casaub. ad Theoph. Char. p. 344, is very unsatisfactory.

1625. Theoph. Char. p. 63. Casaub. 344.

1626. Aristoph. Acharn. 916.

1627. Dem. de Fals. Legat. § 90.

1628. Poll. i. 149.

1629. Conf. Acharn. 660, sqq. and Bœckh, i. 76.

1630. Xen. Hellen. iv. 8. 27. Dodwell, Chron. Xenophon. § 21.

1631. Xen. Rep. Athen. ii. 3. 11. 12.

1632. Xen. ut sup. Thucyd. v. 83.

1633. Pub. Econ. of Athens, i. 77. i. 65.

1634. De Modo Usur. ap. Vet. p. 193, sqq. Bœckh, i. 78.

1635. Adv. Lept. § 9. Consult on this subject the note of Clinton. Fast. Hellen. t. ii. p. 392, seq.

1636. Thucyd. vii. 28.

1637. Cf. Strab. vii. 4. t. ii. p. 95. Dem. adv. Lept. § 9. Herod. vii. 147. The climate of this country was regarded as extremely severe by the ancients, so that at Panticapæum, a city lying between the modern Kertsh and Yenikale, neither the myrtle nor the laurel would grow on account of the cold, though many attempts had been made to rear them for sacred purposes. And yet the laurel was found to brave the inclemencies of the season on Mount Olympos. Most fruit-trees, however, as apples, pears, figs, and pomegranates flourished in the Crimea abundantly, though the pomegranate required to be covered in winter, and all fruits ripened later. The usual timber trees of the country were the oak, the elm, and the ash; the pine, the silver-fir, and the pitch-tree, finding the climate uncongenial. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 5. 3. The nitrous plains around Panticapæum are still bare of wood, though covered thickly by the harmala, a plant which grows spontaneously upon saltpetre grounds. Pallas, Travels in Southern Russia, iii. 356.

1638. Theoph. Hist. Plant. viii. 4. Lysias in Diogit. § 5. Athen. ii. 13. xiii. 50.

1639. Though afterwards in the decline of the republic it was otherwise. See in Plutarch an account of the base infraction of the law of nations by Demetrius which caused a famine in Athens. Demet. § 33. Cf. Xenoph. Hellen. v. i. 23.

1640. See the whole oration of Lysias, against the Corn Monopolists in the Oratores Attici, ii. 523. Cf. Dem. cont. Dionysod. § 2.

1641. Xenoph. Hellen. i. 35.

1642. Id. v. 4. 61.

1643. Xenoph. de Vectigal. ch. i.

1644. Xenoph. Œconom. passim.

1645. Dicæarchos, p. 1.

1646. Aristoph. Acharn. 32, sqq.

1647. Dem. cont. Neær. § 9.

1648. Xenoph. Anab. vii. 5. 14.

1649. Herod. iv. 17.

1650. Varro de Re Rust. l. 1.

1651. Lucian. Navig. § 6.

1652. Bœckh. i. 80.

1653. Herod. v. 88. Athen. iv. 13. xi. 60.

1654. Valcken. ad Herod. Wessel. p. 416.

1655. Concion. 813, with the Scholiast.

1656. Econ. of Athens, i. 81.

1657. It is thus that Bœckh understands a passage in the speech against Eubulides, § 10, which both Wolf and Taylor interpret very differently. With respect to the fact, however, of foreign dealers actually holding stalls, we are not left to depend on any doubtful testimony.

1658. Pollux, ix. 34. Comm. t. ii. p. 911, seq.

1659. Pub. Econ. of Ath. i. 81, seq.

1660. Compare Hume’s Essay on Interest, p. 172, sqq. with Mr. Bœckh’s Public Economy of Athens, i. 82.

1661. Herod. iv. 152.



As the art of navigation was not invented by the Greeks, it will be in this place unnecessary to inquire very minutely into its rude beginnings. Most maritime tribes doubtless discovered for themselves the means of traversing such rivers, and creeks, and bays, and arms of the sea, as lay in their immediate neighbourhood and impeded their communication, whether hostile or friendly, with the various tribes on their borders. Another motive, moreover, which probably tempted men to trust themselves very early upon the waters, was the desire to regale on those dainty fish which abound on nearly all shores, and constitute among the most savage nations an important article of food. It will readily be believed that history cannot pretend to name the individual who in any country first launched his raft or canoe upon the deep. Nevertheless, tradition among the Phœnicians, endeavoured to supply the defect of history. Ousoös, we are told,[1662] a primitive Arab hero, observing the trunk of a large tree overthrown, perhaps by a hurricane, near the shore, lopped off the branches, set it afloat, and committed himself along with it to the mercy of the waves. He had very soon an abundance of imitators. In every part of the Red Sea, on the Nile, the Indus, and the Persian Gulf, hardy navigators made their appearance, who undertook voyages more or less hazardous, in piraguas constructed of a 301single bamboo, or the shell of a vast tortoise, or of a wicker-work frame covered with leather[1663]—the coracles of our British ancestors still in common use on many streams in Wales. Occasionally, too, more especially on the rivers and shores of the Euxine, capacious, long, and sturdy barks[1664] were scooped out of the trunks of enormous trees, which were denominated Monoxyla, and seem to have been at one time or another in general use all over the world from the island of Australasia to the Arctic Circle. A specimen of those employed by our own forefathers may be seen in the colonnade of our national Museum. On the Nile were several kinds of barks peculiar to Egypt, such for example, as those which were plaited from the papyrus plant,[1665] or from rushes. Most extraordinary of all, however, were their boats of earthenware, in which, furnished both with sails and oars, they glided over the serene bosom of the river.

As soon as the Greeks began to apply themselves to maritime affairs, they constructed ports and docks in various parts of the country, where they built numerous ships, rude enough at first, perhaps; but improving by experience and study[1666] they in time equalled, and at length surpassed, the Phœnicians, by whom at the outset they may perhaps have been instructed. Among the greatest difficulties they had to encounter was the scarcity of ship-timber, for which they were always compelled greatly to depend on other countries. The materials, however, being collected, their shipwrights appear to have proceeded in much the same manner 302as those of modern times, laying down the keel, fixing in the ribs, planking, decking, caulking, and pitching, until the hull was completed.

In their war-galleys,[1667] constructed under the superintendence of a naval architect elected by lot, they exhausted all the resources of art in their endeavours to communicate to them the greatest beauty of form and splendour of appearance. Painting, carving, and gilding,[1668] were called in to cover both stern and prow with images and ornaments of the most fanciful kinds, glowing with bright blue or vermilion,[1669] intermingled with scrolls and flourishes of other colours, and figures of burnished gold. Occasionally beneath the rim of the prow were bright cerulean bands,[1670] painted in encaustic and defended by so durable a varnish that they could neither be blistered by the sun, nor dimmed by the action of the sea-water. In this part, beneath the roots as it were of the acrostolion, were placed those ornaments resembling eyes, one on either side, over which the name of the ship was written.[1671] The sweep of the deck was a gentle curve, the lowest dip of which was at the ship’s waist. On the poop stood a deep alcove in which the pilot took his station,[1672] protected in a great degree from wind and weather, and having over his head a large lantern, in which a bright light was kindled at nightfall.

Firm and lofty bulwarks rose along the ship’s sides, protecting the mariners from being swept off in tempests by the passing surge. On the bows again, there was usually a square tower furnished with lofty portals, through which the combatants, 303protected from annoyances on both flanks, poured, in close fight, their darts into the enemy’s ship, or rushed forward to board it. At the very front of the prow, where our bowsprit is now placed, arose an elegant winding scroll, which though projecting slightly beyond the hull, could never touch the corresponding part of the enemy’s galley until the iron or brazen beaks[1673] below had met and shattered each other. The rudder[1674] consisted of two paddles placed one on either side of the ship, which was impelled along by oar and sail. The row-ports of these galleys being somewhat capacious might, if left open, have shipped a great deal of water, on which account they were furnished with strong leather bags, in form like a woman’s breast, projecting outwards, nailed to the circle of the row-port, and fitting tight about the oar. The rowers, to render their condition more comfortable, were furnished with cushions or soft-dressed fleeces.[1675]

The merchantmen differed considerably both in form and general arrangements from the war-galleys. As in our own ships of burden, under the old system of admeasurement, the hull instead of sinking down sharp towards the keel, bellied outwards at the sides, so as to render the bottom almost 304flat. They were very much shorter, moreover, in proportion to their height than ships of the line,[1676] which, from their slender elongated figure, obtained the appellation of long galleys. In trading vessels,[1677] much greater stress was laid on sails than on oars, since the crews could never be sufficiently numerous to furnish constantly fresh relays of rowers; and, in their protracted voyages, it would have been impossible for the same men to remain perpetually on the benches. The masts consequently were here of very great height, equalling, according to rule, the length of the ship, which rendered it practicable to crowd an immense quantity of canvass, but at the same time rendered them liable to capsize in a heavy gale, as is still the case with the Levant-built ships, which are generally much taller rigged than ours. They commonly gave a greater length to the hull of transports, though not altogether so great as to ships of war. Pirate luggers were always built without decks,[1678] and extremely low that they might be the better able to approach their prey unperceived. Their sloops, smacks, and lighters,[1679] together with all the other small craft employed in the coasting trade, exhibited every variety of form, but appear to have been generally stout-built and well-appointed.

Respecting the tonnage and dimensions of the largest class of merchantmen, we possess little positive information. It would appear, however, that in comparison with the vessels engaged in the corn-trade, between Alexandria and Italy,[1680] they were of 305very moderate burden, since the appearance of one of those large ships in the Peiræeus excited general astonishment. The size of this Egyptian trader, which seems to have been no way distinguished from others engaged in the same traffic, may perhaps assist the imagination in forming some definite idea of an ancient merchantman: its length, from stem to stern, was one hundred and eighty feet, its breadth nearly fifty, and its clear depth in the hold about forty-five. It was furnished with one enormous mast, with yards in proportion, and a capacious mainsail, composed of numerous tiers of ox-hides. The cables and anchors, capstains, windlasses, with all the other appurtenances of a ship, were on a suitable scale, while the crew was so numerous as to be compared to an army. In the stem were airy and spacious cabins, above which rose the gilded figure of a goose. On either side of the bows stood an image of Isis,[1681] bending over the waves and appearing to afford her divine protection to those who had chosen her for their tutelar goddess. Among the Greeks, however, the place assigned to the tutelar divinity was sometimes the stern, where oaths were taken, expiations made, prayers and sacrifices offered up, and where such of the crew as had committed any offence took sanctuary. On the top of the mast was a vane[1682] of burnished metal which, turning and flashing in the sun, appeared like a streak of flame. As their ships, more especially during long voyages, ran perpetual risk of being assailed by pirates, they were abundantly supplied with all kinds of arms 306and implements of war, which were ranged along the cabin partitions and elsewhere with so much order and regularity, that they could always, by night or day, be found at a moment’s warning.

It was by very slow advances that the ancients arrived at that high degree of excellence in the art of ship-building, which, in the most flourishing ages of Greece, its maritime states exhibited. In the Homeric age, the largest vessels known were of very moderate burden, since even the poet, who would doubtless allow himself some licence, speaks of no transport which could carry more than one hundred and fifty men. These barks, too, Thucydides thinks, were undecked, like the pirate vessels of his own times, and indeed in ours also, in most parts of the Ægæan, though I have myself sailed in a large Greek brig, of piratical construction, which carried several guns, and was not only decked, but so admirably built, that after labouring ten days in a storm, she made not an inch more water than when in port.

The various stages in improvement have not been marked. They went on, however, each age excelling that which had preceded it, until at length having reached the utmost perfection of which their system was susceptible, they began to apply their skill to the creation of huge fabrics merely for show and magnificence, and calculated rather for the gratification of an insane luxury than for the genuine purposes of trade. One of these naval monsters was constructed at Syracuse under the eye of Archimedes, and at the expense of king Hiero.

Having procured from the forests of Mount Ætna timber sufficient for the building of sixty triremes, together with a variety of other materials from Italy, Spain, and Gaul, as crooked timber for ribs, hard wood for pegs, with pitch and hemp, and Spanish broom[1683] for cables, he assembled a sufficient number of ship-wrights, 307with Archias, the Corinthian, at their head, and set them to work under the inspection of Archimedes, though he himself spent the greater part of his day overlooking the workmen at the dock. When in about six months the planking had been carried to about half the height of the hull, and properly sheathed with lead in lieu of the copper at present employed, the ship was launched[1684] by means of a machine, invented for the purpose by Archimedes, into a sort of floating dock, where it was completed in other six months. The planks were fastened to the ribs with copper bolts, of which some were of ten and others fifteen pounds’ weight, passed through holes prepared for them by the auger; and over the heads of these bolts plates of lead were fixed, having been first lined, as it were, with a layer of wadding steeped in pitch.

They next proceeded to the interior arrangements, the explanation of which is replete with difficulty. The whole depth of the ship seems to have been divided into four stories, of which the lowest, or hold, was filled by the cargo; the second, descended to by long flights of steps, was appropriated to the rowers, who were ranged in twenty banks; the third was laid out in cabins for the use of the crew, while the military officers and the men occupied the uppermost. The kitchen was situated in the stern.

All these cabins were adorned with pavements in mosaic, representing in a long series of compartments 308the entire action of the Iliad; while the furniture, doors, and ceilings were furnished with proportionate splendour and elegance. On the upper deck was a gymnasium, exactly proportioned to the dimensions of the ship, together with a number of walks running through the midst of gardens laid out on leaden terraces, and containing all kinds of odoriferous plants and flowers. All these alleys were arched with trellis-work, overlaid with the intermingled foliage of the white-ivy and the vine growing out of troughs filled with earth, arranged along the promenades, and watered like other gardens. In a different part of the ship was a magnificent apartment called the Aphrodision, furnished with three couches, and having a pavement variegated with agates, and all the richest and most beautiful marbles of Sicily. It was wainscotted and roofed with cypress, while its doors were of Atlantic citron-wood inlaid with ivory. On all sides, moreover, it was adorned with pictures and statues and vases and goblets, of the most fanciful and varied forms. Contiguous to this chamber was the library, furnished with five couches and store of books. Its doors and wainscot were of box, and on its roof was a sun-dial, constructed in imitation of that in the Achradina. There was also a bath, in which were three couches, and three caldaria of bronze, together with a basin containing five metretæ, lined with Taurominian marble of various colours. There were numerous cabins fitted up for the soldiers and the crew, from whom was selected a number of persons whose sole business it was to superintend the pumps.[1685] The ship likewise contained twenty stables, ten on either hand, well supplied with fodder, and every convenience for the grooms.

In the bows was a prodigious reservoir of fresh-water, lined with tarpaulin, and kept under lock and key; and near it lay the piscina or fish-pond, overlaid with lead, and filled with sea-water, in which 309was preserved an ample supply of fish for a long voyage. On projecting galleries, extending along the ship’s sides, were situated the wood-house, the kitchen, the bake-house, the mills, and other conveniences. At different distances along the sides were ranged numerous figures of Atlas, nine feet in height, supporting the triglyphs and the projecting portions of the ship: its whole surface, moreover, was adorned with suitable paintings.

There arose from the deck eight towers, two on the stern, two on the prow, and four in the ship’s waist, in diameter and elevation proportioned to the dimensions of the whole. From the outer battlements of each of these turrets projected two immense beams, hollowed out like troughs, which being balanced in the middle on the edge of the tower, could be filled with huge stones, that, by elevating the inner extremity of the machine, were launched into the enemy’s ship as it sailed beneath. These engines were probably worked by ropes and pulleys attached to the opposite battlements. Six armed men, two of whom were archers, took their station in each turret, the whole interior of which was filled with stones and darts. All round the ship, supported by a series of triangles, ran a gallery, defended by a parapet and battlements. On this stood a catapult, invented by Archimedes, which cast darts eighteen feet long, with stones upwards of three hundred and fifty pounds in weight, to the distance of a furlong. This gallery, as well, I presume, as the men who worked the engine, was protected by a close net-work of large ropes suspended from brazen chains. To each of the three masts was attached a couple of engines, which darted iron bars and masses of lead against the enemy. The sides of the ship bristled with iron spikes, designed to protect it against boarding; and on all sides were likewise grapples, which could be flung by machines into the galleys of the foe, so as to retain them within reach of the missiles from on board. Along the galleries, 310and round the masts and catapults, were drawn up two hundred and forty men in complete armour. In the fore, main, and mizen-tops were stationed other warriors, who were supplied with stones and similar missiles by baskets running on pulleys, and worked by boys. The ship was supplied with twelve anchors, of which four were of wood, and eight of iron.[1686]

Very little difficulty was experienced in discovering pines sufficiently lofty for the fore and mizen-masts of this huge galley; but it was only by accident that a swineherd in the mountains of the Abruzzi found a tree of sufficient magnitude for the mainmast. It was conveyed to the sea by Philias, an engineer of Taurominium. The pump, notwithstanding its great depth, was easily worked by the screw of Archimedes, and only required the labour of one individual. The name first bestowed on this ship by Hiero was “The Syracusan;” but when afterwards he despatched it as a present to King Ptolemy, he changed it to that of the “The Alexandrian.”

Besides the individuals already enumerated, there were six hundred men stationed on the prow; and to administer justice in this floating commonwealth a court was instituted, consisting of the captain, the pilot, and the principal officers in command in the forecastle, who judged according to the laws of Syracuse. It was followed on the voyage to Egypt by a number of smaller craft, of which the majority were fishing-smacks.

The cargo of “The Alexandrian,” which, together with the vessel itself, was presented to King Ptolemy at a time when famine raged in Egypt, consisted of sixty thousand medimni of corn, two thousand jars of salt-fish, twenty thousand talents of wool, and 311an equal quantity of other commodities. The poet Archimelos having written a copy of verses on this nautical castle, Hiero felt so greatly flattered by the compliment that he sent the author a thousand medimni of wheat, which he landed for him at the Peiræeus.

In order to convey some idea of another department of nautical architecture among the ancients, in which there was probably a greater display of fancy than of science, we shall here introduce the description of a pleasure-barge in which Ptolemy Philopater and the ladies of his court used to sail upon the Nile.[1687] Among the caliphs and sultans of the East we find traces of a similar taste for gorgeous and magnificent barks; but neither in history nor fiction do we remember to have met any account of a vessel so curiously constructed, or so superbly and sumptuously adorned. It was, in the first place, half a furlong in length, flat-bottomed, and rising high above the water on account of the swell, with projecting keel, and prow of most graceful curvature,—or, I should rather, perhaps, say, prows, for it appeared double in front, as though a pair of galleys had been lashed together. Along the sides and stern ran two galleries, the one above the other, where the persons on board might stroll and take exercise as the barge was wafted along by the wind. Of these the lower one resembled an open peristyle, the upper a close arcade furnished at intervals with windows looking out upon the river.

Considering the whole barge as one great building, the architect placed the extreme hall encircled by a single row of columns at the extremity of the stern, where it was, doubtless, approached from the upper gallery. Having traversed this, you next beheld a propylæon erected with the most 312precious wood and ivory. This led into a proscenion roofed over, in the vicinity of which lay a variety of chambers. Of these the most remarkable was a vast peripheral hall fitted up with twenty couches. This apartment was wainscotted with cedar and Milesian cypress; the doors, twenty in number, were formed of panels of citron wood richly inlaid with ivory. The hinges, the nails, the knockers, and door-handles, were of copper, gilt. The shafts of the columns were cypress wood, and the Corinthian capitals of gold and ivory were surmounted by an architrave richly overlaid with gold. Above this again was a broad frieze adorned with numerous figures of animals roughly sculptured in ivory, but remarkable for the costliness of the materials. The ceiling was of cedar wood elaborately carved and covered with a blaze of gilding. Close at hand were the apartments of the women, in the structure and ornaments of which equal magnificence was displayed. In another part of the bark was a chapel of Aphroditè surmounted by a dome. It contained a statue of the goddess in Parian marble. This sacred edifice was surrounded by other suites of apartments among which was a symposion adorned with pillars of Indian marble. Towards the prow was a saloon sacred to Dionysos, surrounded on all sides with pillars furnished with numerous couches, and adorned with gilded cornices. The roof was enriched with ornaments suited to the character of the god, that is, in all probability orgeastic processions of Bacchantes and Bacchanals, with crowns of ivy and vine leaves. On the right hand this saloon opened into a grotto or cavern, in which the colours of rocks were imitated by an incrustation of precious stones, whose brilliance was in various parts relieved by ornaments of gold. The busts of the royal family sculptured of Parian marble were ranged round the grot.

On the roof of the great saloon was erected a 313small symposion, in the form of a tent, exceedingly agreeable from its airiness and the fine prospect it commanded over the whole valley of the Nile. It was completely open in front, and the roof consisting of a series of semicircular hoops like the top of a calèche, it could be bent down and drawn forward at pleasure, and was covered with purple hangings. By a winding staircase constructed in a different part of the bark, you ascended to another hall, constructed and decorated after the Egyptian manner, being adorned with a number of round pillars composed of a succession of blocks of equal height, alternately white and black. Their capitals, likewise were round, but contracting rather than expanding at the top like an elongated rose-bud.

In all this part of the column, technically denominated calathos, there were neither volutes nor rows of open and projecting foliage as in Greek architecture, but bells of the river lotos, or other flowers, intermingled with newly formed fruit of the date palm. To correspond with these columns, the walls of Egyptian edifices were frequently lined with black and white slabs alternating with each other. Of these the white were sometimes of alabaster.

This bark was furnished with but one mast, one hundred and five feet in height, to which was fitted a single sail of byssus with purple fringe. The dimensions of the sail must, however, have been prodigious, but from the fineness of its fabric it could never have been hoisted in rough weather.

If we turn now to the materials wherewith the ships of the ancients were constructed we shall find that they here differed as much from the practice of modern nations, at least in the north, as in the form and style of rigging. With us scarcely anything but oak or teak is employed in those parts which come in contact with the water, whereas 314the Greeks constructed their war galleys, in which speed was of the greatest moment, of fir,[1688] while they chiefly made use of pitch pine in the building of merchantmen, as that wood long resists the corrosive action of the sea.

The Cypriotes appear in all cases to have given the preference to the pine which abounds in the island, and was esteemed superior to the pitch tree,[1689] though the latter was sometimes appropriated to the building of ships of war. Among the Syrians and Phœnicians, in whose country a supply of pine was not to be obtained,[1690] the custom prevailed of building ships entirely of cedar.[1691] The practice of employing oak[1692] had, likewise, already been introduced, though it does not appear to have been common; but in the larger classes of ships the keel was always of that timber, in order that, when drawn on shore, it might be able to sustain the weight of the superincumbent mass. In the holcades or merchantmen, the keel, like the ship itself, was of pitch pine; but all such vessels were in those days supplied with a false keel, called chelysma,[1693] of oak, or oxya, designed to act as a protection when they were drawn up into dry dock. Masts and yards were commonly of the silver fir;[1694] oars of such timber as grew on the northern slopes of mountains.[1695] The turned work used in ornamenting the interior was commonly of mulberry, ash, 315elm, or platane wood, of which the last was least esteemed.[1696]

Sails were made and manufactured from a variety of materials. It has been seen above, in speaking of the Egyptian war ships, that they sometimes consisted of a number of hides sown together. They were, likewise, in various countries, plaited, as now in China,[1697] from reeds, or rushes, but the sailcloth of the Greeks was generally, like our own, woven from hemp.[1698] For this, in Egypt, the papyrus was sometimes substituted. Princes and grandees occasionally, in their pleasure-boats, employed, in lieu of these rude materials, cotton or fine linen, dyed, to augment their beauty, of the most brilliant purple. To this Shakespeare alludes in the following passage, which though familiar, perhaps, to the reader, I must, nevertheless, beg permission to quote:

The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne,
Burnt on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were love-sick with ’em: the oars were silver;
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar’d all description. She did lie
In her pavilion, (cloth of gold of tissue,)
O’er-picturing that Venus, where we see
The fancy out-work nature. On each side her,
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling cupids,
With diverse-colour’d fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool;
And what they undid, did.——
Her gentlewomen, like the Nereids, or
So many mermaids, tended her i’ th’ eyes’,
And made their bends adorning; at the helm
A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackles
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs.[1699]

316An ancient anonymous writer on the art military describes a vessel closely resembling our steamboats in construction, but in which bullocks, stationed in the hold, worked the paddle-wheels instead of an engine. It flew along the water, says the author, without oars or sails, simply by the impulses of wheels, which, rising partly above the waves, operated, when in action, like a succession of oars.

Ropes and cables[1700] were manufactured in antiquity from a great variety of materials. At first, the cordage most in use would appear to have been composed of twisted thongs; for which, in process of time, was substituted goats’ hair,[1701] the Spanish broom,[1702] the bark of the cornel[1703] and linden-tree,[1704] with byblos, hemp,[1705] and flax.[1706] The enormous cables which supported the bridge thrown by Xerxes over the Hellespont were manufactured from mixed materials, of which two-thirds were byblos and one-third white flax.[1707] They were of dimensions so vast that a piece half a yard in length weighed one hundred and twenty-five pounds.

Of the sailors, upon whose energy, skill, and courage, the success of every voyage necessarily depended, ancient writers have been more than usually scanty in their communications. We know, however, that the mariners as well on board the merchantmen of Athens as those of the other states of Greece, were partly citizens, partly strangers, and in many instances slaves. Leading a life full of hardship and danger, engaged as it were in a perpetual conflict with the elements, their tempers grew fierce, 317their manners boisterous and rude,[1708] and their morals none of the most elevated. During the intervals they spent on shore, they endeavoured by snatching at all the coarse pleasures within their reach, to make themselves some amends for their habitual privations. The excuse, however, for this conduct was often sophistically borrowed from religion, for during the prevalence of storms at sea, it was customary to make vows to Poseidon, or Castor and Polydeukes, or some of the other patrons of the nautical art; and on reaching port the victims were slain and offered up, and the sacrifice of necessity was accompanied by a feast. To these their boon companions, dancing-girls, female flute-players, hetairæ, jugglers, and low parasites, were invited, and the whole usually terminated in excessive intoxication and a battle royal. Most mariners were attached to some dame of equivocal reputation in the Peiræeus or elsewhere, to whom on their return from voyages they were in the habit of bringing presents, such as a pair of gilded slippers, a dainty cheese, a jar of pickles, or saltfish, or a measure or two of onions. What was the amount of wages, which enabled them to indulge in this kind of liberality, I have nowhere been able to discover, though in all probability it was at least equal to the pay received by seamen in the war-galleys, that is from three to four oboloi a-day. Their operations while on board, were regulated of course by circumstances and the accidents of the weather. Thus, when the breeze was strong and favourable, they might lounge or sit about the decks, or sleep, during the greater part of the twenty-four hours, without shifting a sail or handling an oar, though a man was always stationed at the prow to keep a sharp look-out, and watch the aspect of the sky.[1709] In calms, however, or when the swell and roar of the sea foretold an approaching tempest, the whole crew 318took to their cushions, and raising at the command of the boatswain,[1710] a loud chant,[1711] which contended in volume with the angry voice of the ocean, they strained every nerve to augment the velocity of their bark, and gain some friendly port before the storm fairly set in. Occasionally, however, they were overtaken by tempests in the neighbourhood of rocky islands or bleak and inhospitable promontories like the Chelidonian rocks, where from whatever point of the compass the wind might blow a heavy surge beat upon the shore perpetually. Under these circumstances it was observed, more especially during the darkness of the night, that two brilliant glancing lights played evermore about the masts and yards, shooting hither and thither, and kindling up the crest of the surge by their luminous appearance. These were the Dioscuri, the tender and affectionate brothers of Helen, whose benevolence towards mankind in general was only to be equalled by their attachment to each other. When matters came to extremities and the waves appeared ready to engulf both crew and passengers, all on board became keenly sensible to the irregularities of their past lives, and the whispered interrogation passed round the bark: “have you been initiated?” Because those to whom the truths treasured up in the sanctuary of Eleusis had been revealed, were supposed to be better prepared than other men for meeting death, and appearing at the judgment-seat of heaven. It was now that vows and prayers were heard, and that feelings of repentance were sincere, and it would have required a more than ordinary degree of apathy to forget such circumstances when, by an unlooked-for interposition of Providence, they were snatched from the jaws of death, and restored to their kindred and their homes. We may remark here, by the way, that, to passengers labouring 319under the effects of sea-sickness, a decoction of a species of thyme[1712] (thymum tragoriganum) was administered.

In their political predilections,[1713] the mariners of Greece were almost invariably observed to be democratic, probably because being possessed of superior energy they naturally spurned all control save that of the laws, and were ready at all times and under all circumstances to contend for liberty. This was more especially the case with the Athenian seamen, who, in the flourishing periods of Hellenic history bore much the same relation to the other seafarers of Greece, as the sailors of England do to those of the neighbouring European states.

Although the mariners’ compass had not yet been invented, the ancient sailors did not, as appears to be generally supposed, creep timidly from headland to headland along the shore, but traversed boldly the open sea, directing their course by the constellations, more particularly that of the greater bear. In this practice the Arabs of Phœnicia led the way as in most other early improvements connected with seamanship.

It is sometimes believed that, in very remote ages, mankind possessed no names for the winds,[1714] because as they had not yet addicted themselves to navigation, it concerned them very little to observe how or which way they blew. Possibly, however, we somewhat exaggerate the heedlessness and ignorance of the remoter generations of men who must have been singularly obtuse in their intellect if they could not tell whether the wind blew up or down a valley, or on the back or front of their houses, and had failed to designate the several currents of the atmosphere by distinct appellations, whereby to distinguish them when they had occasion to speak of their effects. About the period 320of the Trojan war some inventive genius sprang up who gave a name to the north and the south winds, and already in the time of Homer the Greeks had contrived to have four points to their compass, at least the poet speaks but of the four cardinal winds, Boreas, the north; Euros, the east; Notos, the south, and Zephyros, the west. To these other four were afterwards added, and at the same time some change was introduced into the ancient nomenclature, the north-east was called Cæcias;[1715] the south-east, Euros; the name of the east being changed to Apeliotes; the south-west, Libs; the north-west, Argestes, and sometimes Olympias,[1716] or Iapyx, or Sciron; which, however, according to Pliny differed from the Argestes, and was peculiar to Athens. These are the winds represented on the tower of Andronicos Cyrrhestes at Athens, spoken of by Varro, Vitruvius,[1717] and many modern travellers. Pliny,[1718] Galen, and Aulus Gellius differ from Aristotle in confining the name of Aparctias to the north wind, and giving that of Boreas to the north-east, or Aquilo of the Romans.[1719]

Winds blowing from the northern points of the compass are most frequent in Greece. Aristotle[1720] remarks, that Boreas is strong at its commencement, but feeble towards its close; and that of the south wind, the reverse is true.[1721] It may, moreover, be added, that the north wind was not only the most common, but also the dryest and most severe, though sometimes accompanied by lightning, and hail, and snow. The same wind brought rain on the Hellespont, and at Cyrenè. The Cæcias commonly prevailed about the vernal equinox, and, in Attica and the islands, was a rainy wind;[1722] the 321Apetiotes was a humid but soft wind felt chiefly in the morning.[1723] The Euros, which, as Gœttling[1724] observes, is the Scirocco of the Italians, prevails about the winter solstice, and at first is warm and dry, but afterwards by blowing long over the sea becomes moist, and brings rain, particularly in Lesbos.[1725] Aristotle, however, speaks of the Notos as the chief rainy wind in this island,[1726] and observes what I have myself verified in the Delta, that during the Simoom objects appear greater than their natural size.[1727] The Notos blows chiefly about the end of autumn in Greece, as I found it also on the Nile immediately after the winter solstice, and at the commencement of spring.[1728] It likewise prevails during the dog-days[1729] (ἐπὶ κυνὶ). Naturally moist and warm, it was at first weak, but grew powerful as it drew towards its end, when it covered the sky with clouds and ended in rain.[1730] South winds blowing from the sea, by which they were cooled, were considered favourable to vegetation particularly in the Thriasian plain in Attica, lying between the Sciros and the Cephissos. These same winds were supposed to be cold in Libya; I think erroneously, since the south winds are warm in Egypt. The Libs is moist and cloudy, though less so than the Cæcias; but the clouds which it brings are quickly dispersed; it blows chiefly about Cnidos and Rhodes.[1731]

The Zephyr[1732] which prevails in the spring, at mid-summer and in autumn is felt chiefly in the evening and never in the morning. According to Aristotle it is the gentlest wind that blows.[1733] Theophrastus, 322however, remarks, that it is cold in some countries, though less so than Boreas;[1734] but in the opinion of Hippocrates, it is most of all winds charged with rain.[1735] The Argestos is no less dry and serene than the Aparctias, though it sometimes brings thunder-clouds and hail.[1736] This wind is remarkably cold at Chalcis in Eubœa. When about the winter solstice it happens to blow, it dries up and withers the trees more than long continued heats and droughts.[1737] At Rhodes and at Cnidos it is usually accompanied by heavy clouds.[1738]

The Etesian winds which commence immediately after the summer solstice, and continue through the dog-days, are in reality northern winds, but occasionally point obliquely both towards the west and towards the east. They prevail chiefly at night;[1739] and are sometimes exceedingly powerful on the coast of Egypt.[1740] Another class of Etesian winds prevailed earlier in the year, beginning about twenty days after the winter solstice. These are weaker, more variable, and of briefer duration than the real Etesian winds, and I will add, from my own experience, cover the sky with dark clouds, and blow extremely cold even along the shores of Marmarica and Cyrenè. In ancient Greece they obtained the name of Ornithiæ—“the Bird Winds”—because they announced the return of the birds.[1741] Or, according to another version of the matter, because they were so cold as to strike dead various kinds of birds during their flight, and strew the earth with their bodies.[1742]

During the winter months these cold and piercing winds blow with so much fury over the land-locked seas and islands of Greece, that among the ancients 323all navigation was suspended during the brumal season. In proof of the violence of these aërial currents, which may almost be said to set steadily in one direction through a great portion of the year, it may be observed, that in several of the islands neither vines nor fig-trees can be trained upright, but are blown down and compelled to creep along the rocks.[1743] An example of the strength of the gales which sometimes also prevail on the Hellenic continent is recorded in history; during the retreat of Cleombrotos out of Bœotia, his army being overtaken by a storm as it was traversing the mountain passes leading from Creusis to Ægosthena along the shore of the sea, numerous sumpter asses were blown with their ladings over the precipices; even the shields and arms were in many cases whirled from the hands of the soldiers and precipitated into the waves below; and to prevent similar misfortune the rest of the army turned their bucklers upside down and filled them with stones, while they pushed forward, divested of defensive armour, into the Megaris, a friendly country, from which they afterwards returned and fetched off their shields.[1744]

In cases of shipwreck the protection afforded to crews and merchandise depended in most cases, perhaps, on the character and progress of civilisation of the people on whose shore the accident happened. On the coast of Thrace, in the neighbourhood of Salmydessos, where the whole maritime population appear to have been confirmed wreckers, numerous pillars were set up along the beach to mark the limits within which each little community might claim whatever booty was drifted in by the sea. Previous to this arrangement, the barbarians used frequently to come to blows in the eager pursuit of this inhuman calling, and in these brawls many lives were lost. Afterwards they appear to have 324carried on their war against distressed mariners with perfect harmony and equanimity.[1745] But among the Rhodians, an enterprising mercantile people, the amount of salvage was regulated by a law which, together with the rest of their commercial code, was afterwards adopted by the Romans.

If gold, or silver, or any other article, be brought up from the depth of eight cubits, the person who saves it shall receive one-third. If from fifteen cubits, the person who saves it shall, on account of the depth, receive one-half. If goods are cast up by the waves towards the shore, and found sunk at the depth of one cubit, the person who carries them out safe shall receive a tenth part.[1746] It was customary, moreover, in old times, to keep a number of divers on board ships for the purpose of descending to loosen the anchors when they chanced to take too firm a hold in the sand, as also to recover goods which had been thrown overboard in times of danger.[1747]

On various headlands and promontories of the ancient world beacon-fires were habitually kindled to guide the course of the ships into port; and for these, in after ages, light-houses, adorned with every beauty of architecture, and carried to a vast height, were substituted. Of these the most remarkable was that erected for Ptolemy Philadelphus, by Sostratos, the Cnidian, whose name, by permission of the king, was inscribed upon the structure.[1748] By one author it is described as four hundred and fifty feet high, and equal in dimensions at the base to one of the great pyramids of Memphis. In form it may possibly have resembled the Haram el Kedâb, which consists of a series of square towers from the basement upwards, diminishing in size, and appearing to spring up out of each 325other. With this the language of Strabo[1749] very well agrees, since he tells us, it was a building consisting of numerous stages. On the summit bright fires were kept perpetually burning, so that on that low shore, where there is no hill or mountain for many days’ journey, the Pharos was ever the first object which presented itself to mariners at sea, where its light, we are told, was visible at the distance of a hundred miles. Occasionally, however, from its great size and brilliance, it was mistaken for the moon, as this planet itself, rising behind the dome and towers of a great capital, has suggested to distant beholders the idea of a conflagration.[1750]

1662. Sanchoniath. ap Euseb. Præp. Evang. i. p. 23, bis. Leroy, Marine des Anciens Peuples, p. 188.

1663. Herod. i. 194.

1664. In the sea of Marmora, a boat somewhat similar in form, though different in construction, is still used, and known under the name of piade. It is narrow, and “from twenty to forty feet in length, very sharp both in the prow and stern; it is built of willow, and often beautifully carved and ornamented.” Douglas, Essay, &c., p. 13.

1665. Herod. ii. 96. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 8. 4.

1666. Cf. Hom. Il. α. 316. Thucyd. i. 10.

1667. Vid. Gyrald. de Navig. c. xvi. t. i. col. 646. Thucyd. i. 13, seq. Athen. xi. 49. Aristoph. Lysist. 173. On the names of different classes of vessels, see Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 143. Eq. 1363. Thucyd. iv. 67.

1668. Poll. i. 84. Goguet, iv. 261. Winkel. i. 26. n.

1669. Lucian. Charidem. § 25.

1670. Athen. v. 37.

1671. Poll. i. 86.

1672. In this he had a seat which was called ικρία. Hesych. in v.

1673. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 552.

1674. Spallanzani in describing the preparations made by the Portuguese for the first doubling of the Cape of Good Hope, mentions, among other things, a double rudder, so “that in case one should be damaged there might be another to act.” Travels in the Two Sicilies, iv. 201.

1675. The sea-term ὑπηρέσιον which occurs in Thucydides, ii. 93, is very variously explained. Mitford (Hist. Greece, iii. 154) contends, that it means a sort of bag placed in the τρῆμα, or aperture through which the oar passed, and was designed to prevent the flowing in of the waves. This bag, however, as I have already remarked in pp. 289, 290, was called ἄσκωμα. Poll. ii. 154. Potter (ii. 136,) thinks it was a skin on which the rowers sat. Lilius Gyraldus, (De Navigiis, c. vi. p. 627,) supposes it to have been that part of the galley on which the oar rested, and sometimes signified the oar itself. The Greek scholiast on Thucydides, (t. v. p. 399,) agrees with Potter, saying, that it means a sheep-skin with the fleece which covered the rowers’ benches.

1676. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 1363.

1677. One of these vessels, when built for speed, would, with a fair wind, make a hundred and fifty miles in the twenty-four hours. Herod. iv. 86.

1678. Thucyd. i. 10. Schol. t. v. p. 311.

1679. Much of the coasting trade of the Mediterranean is still carried on in extremely small barks or open boats. See Spallanzani, Travels in the Two Sicilies, iii. 122, sqq. In the Adriatic, however, the necessity has at length been felt of employing vessels of a broad and flat construction, and extremely solid, to resist the violence of the storms so frequent in that sea, id. iv. 200.

1680. Lucian. Navig. § 5.

1681. On the bows of the Athenian war-galleys a wooden statue of Athena, richly gilded, occupied the place here assigned to Isis. Aristoph. Acharn. 457, et Schol.

1682. See on vanes, flags, &c., Beckmann, History of Inventions, iv. 161. As many of our sailors carry about their persons a child’s caul as an amulet to protect them against the dangers of the ocean, so the mariners of Greece attributed a sort of miraculous power to the skins of the seal and the hyæna, which they bound around the summits of their masts as a safeguard against lightning and thunderbolts. Plut. Sympos, iv. 2. 1.

1683. Athen. v. 40.

1684. By what ceremonies a ship-launch was accompanied in antiquity, I have nowhere discovered. Those which take place on the occasion in modern Greece are extremely pleasing, and may, perhaps, have had a classical origin. A crown of flowers “is suspended from the prow of a vessel when it is first launched, and the ‘καρόβακηρι,’ or master of the ship, raises the jar of wine to his lips as he stands upon the deck, and then pours it on the ground. Surely, nothing can be more beautifully classical; and it were to be wished that we could trace some part of a ceremony that takes place with us upon the same occasion to this source, and not consider it as an imitation of one of the most sacred rites of our religion.” Douglas, p. 65.

1685. Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 432.

1686. Cf. Artemid. Oneirocrit. ii. 23, p. 110, with the amusing conjectures of Goguet, &c., on the origin of anchors, Origine des Loix, ii. 221. Pausanias attributes the invention of the anchor to Midas, i. 4. 5. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 753. If we may trust to the testimony of Lucian, a small boat-anchor could be bought for five drachmas. Dialog. Mortuorum, iv. 1.

1687. The great attention paid to navigation by the Egyptians, under the government of the Ptolemies, may be inferred from the fact, that they possessed at one time upwards of four thousand ships of all sizes. Athen. v. 36.

1688. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 6. 5. Plat. de Legg. iv. t. vii. 333.

1689. Cf. Artemid. Oneirocrit. ii. 25, p. 113.

1690. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 7. 5.

1691. Id. iv. 5. 5. v. 6. 5. There were cedars on Mount Lebanon eighteen feet in circumference, v. 8. 1.

1692. Theophrastus appears to give the preference to the oak of Epeiros, the acorns of which had been frequently sown in other parts of Greece, but produced, he says, inferior timber. Hist. Plant. ii. 2. 6. Cf. Orph. Argonaut. 130. Cf. Valer. Flacc. viii. 161. i. 303.

1693. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 7. 2, seq. iii. 10. 1.

1694. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 1. 7.

1695. Id. iv. 1. 4. The oar was usually fastened to the row-port by a stout thong, which, of the size used in boats, seems to have cost about two oboloi. Lucian. Dial. Mortuor. iv. § 1.

1696. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 7. 3.

1697. Goguet, iv. 260.

1698. Theoph. Hist. iv. 8. 4.

1699. Anthony and Cleopatra, Act ii. Scene 3.

1700. Schol. Aristoph. Eq. 129. Æschyl. 175.

1701. Geop. xviii. 9. Common sacks and cushions for rowers on board the galleys were likewise manufactured from the same material. Cf. Var. de Re Rustic. ii. 7. Columel. 7. 6. 2.

1702. Athen. v. 40.

1703. Plut. Alexand. § 18.

1704. Theoph. Hist. Plant. v. 7. 5.

1705. Dioscor. iii. 165.

1706. Herod. vii. 25.

1707. Id. vii. 34. 36.

1708. Plat. Phædr. t. i. p. 34.

1709. Aristoph. Eq. 548.

1710. Suid. v. κελευστὴς. Stallb. ad Plat. Rep. i. 198.

1711. Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 909.

1712. Dioscor. iii. 35.

1713. Plut. Themist. § 19.

1714. See Gœttling’s note on v. 379, of Hesiod’s Theogon. p. 38, seq.

1715. Called also Ἑλλησποντίας, by Aristot. Probl. xxvi. 58. Plin. ii. 46. Cf. Aristoph. Eq. 435.

1716. Cf. Theoph. Caus. Plant. v. 2. 5. Hist. Plant. iv. 14. 11.

1717. l. i. c. 6.

1718. Nat. Hist. ii. 46.

1719. See further in Coray, Disc. Prelim. ad Hippoc. § 61.

1720. Meteorol. ii. 6.

1721. Problem. xxvi. 41.

1722. Arist. Problem. xxvi. 58.

1723. Aristot. Meteorol. ii. 6. Problem. xxvi. 33. 34. 57.

1724. Ad Hesiod. Theogon. 379.

1725. Coray, Disc. Prelim. ad Hippoc. § 61.

1726. Problem. xxvi. 58.

1727. Aristot. Problem. xxvi. 55.

1728. Id. xxvi. 16.

1729. Aristot. Prob. xxvi. 12.

1730. Id. xxvi. 2.

1731. Theophrast. De Ventis, § 51.

1732. Ζέφυρος, τὴν ᾠδὴν τοῖς κύκνοις ἐνδιδοὺς. Philost. Icon. i. 9. p. 779.

1733. Meteorol. ii. 5. 6. Problem. xxvi. 33. 35. 37. 54. 57.

1734. De Ventis, § 31.

1735. De Aër. et Loc. § 26.

1736. Aristot. Meteorol. ii. 6.

1737. Theoph. Hist. Plant. iv. 17. De Caus. Plant. v. 16.

1738. De Ventis, § 51.

1739. Aristot. Meteorol. ii. 5. 6.

1740. Cæsar. De Bell. Civil.

1741. Coray, Disc. Prelim. ad Hippoc. de Aër. et Loc. §. 76.

1742. Schol. Aristoph. Acharn. 877.

1743. Thiersch, Etat Actuel de la Grèce. t. i. p. 284. Della Rocca, Traité Complet des Abeilles. t. i. p. 203.

1744. Xenoph. Hellen. v. 4. 17.

1745. Xenoph. Anab. vii. 5. 12, seq.

1746. Beckmann, History of Inventions, i. 180.

1747. Lucian. Pharsal. iii. 697. Livius, xliv. 10. Manil. Astronom. 449.

1748. Cf. Lucian. Quom. Hist. sit. Conscrib. § 62.

1749. Geograph. xvii. 1. t. iii. p. 423.

1750. Vossius, ad Pomp. Mel. de Situ Orb. l. ii. c. 4. p. 272.



Although we have above glanced slightly at the exports and imports of Athens and several other states, we ought here perhaps to enter into greater detail, for the purpose of rendering as complete as possible our idea of the vigorous and extensive commerce carried on by the Greeks. It will not of course be understood, that all the articles enumerated in the present chapters constituted at any one time the floating materials of Hellenic trade; the probability being, that some grew out of fashion and were succeeded by others, for which at a later period they may again have been substituted. But the mind must suppose itself to be dealing with the whole extent of authentic Grecian history, within the limits of which it will be found, that everything we here mention was trafficked in, though it seems to be now impossible to observe in these matters a strict chronology and fix the epoch at which each particular commodity came into vogue, or was abandoned for something else.

Attica itself exported comparatively few of its own natural productions;[1751] but having obtained the raw materials from other regions, it expended upon them so much skill, and taste, and industry, that they appeared to undergo a new creation, and were issued 327from the Peiræeus like the native growth of the soil. This was the case with various kinds of arms and armour, as sabres, and scimitars, greaves, cuirasses, and helmets.[1752] These were sometimes richly gilt or inlaid with gold, and adorned with embossed figures of rare workmanship.[1753]

Perfumes,[1754] also, with unguents and essences,[1755] and odoriferous oils were among the exports of Athens, which, indeed, at one period retailed to the rest of Greece the manufactures of every country in the civilised world.

Among the articles of merchandise,[1756] the peculiar produce of her own soil, were the fragrant gold-coloured honey of Hymettos, the best in the ancient world; olives, and olive oil,[1757] which likewise appear to have been unrivalled; fruits of various kinds, but more especially figs,[1758] which were transported to Persia and most of the other regions of the East.[1759]

328A trade was carried on too in herbs and plants, which being more fragrant and possessing greater virtues here than in any other country, the citizens of the neighbouring states sought to obtain the like, by procuring slips and seeds from Athens. Thus strangers having observed that the knolls and uplands of Attica were covered with thyme,[1760] which, flowering about midsummer, filled the air with sweetness, and enabled the owners of bees to foretell with exactness whether honey would be scarce or plentiful, desired to transplant it to the neighbourhood of their own cities. It was found however by experience, that it flourished and attained its natural luxuriance only in such situations as were reached by the sea breezes.[1761] In Arcadia, for example, it refused to be naturalised, though the climate of that country was found to agree very well with the marjoram, and the summer savory. Among the simples employed by the ancients in their materia medica were the Attic valerian,[1762] hemlock,[1763] and melilot.[1764] Kermes also were produced in this country.[1765]

The Athenian pottery,[1766] being the most tasteful and 329beautiful known to the ancient world, was consequently in great request and exported in immense quantities to all the countries on the shores of the Mediterranean.[1767] At one time, however, the people of Ægina and Argos, partly out of resentment,[1768] and partly to encourage some less costly manufacture of their own, prohibited its introduction; while the people of Aulis,[1769] Samos,[1770] and Rhodes,[1771] became, in this branch of industry, the rivals of the Athenians, whom they endeavoured to undersell by producing an inferior article.[1772]

Among the other exports of Athens we find enumerated soft fine wool,[1773] linen and woollen cloths,[1774] slippers,[1775] beds, chests, books,[1776] wine,[1777] Sphettian vinegar,[1778] sweetmeats,[1779] glaucisci,[1780] anchovies,[1781] sheep,[1782] live 330fowls,[1783] Hymettian[1784] and Pentelic[1785] marbles, quicksilver,[1786] ochre,[1787] and cinnabar.[1788]

Another class of exports consisted of statues and works of arts of all kinds, in gold, marble, bronze, and ivory, jewellery, and engraved gems.

But the most valuable and commodious of all her merchandise was that silver[1789] of unrivalled purity and fineness which so long placed her foremost among the commercial states of antiquity, and was one of the great props of her empire both by sea and land.

In the matter of imports we shall consider Athens in a double point of view; first as the purchaser of the surplus produce of the other Grecian states,[1790] and second as the representative of Greece in general, collecting together in her ports the commodities of the rest of the world, and afterwards distributing them among her neighbours. With the Megaris, which once formed part of her own territory, Athens, at particular periods of her history, carried on an active traffic in the common necessaries of life,—as groats,[1791] fish,[1792] salt,[1793] goats, vegetables,[1794] leverets, poultry, pigs, and cattle.[1795] Hemlock was likewise numbered among the exports of Megara,[1796] together with 331jars,[1797] and rough upper garments.[1798] It seems probable moreover that, as numerous sheep were reared in this territory, fine wool was likewise on occasions imported thence into Attica,[1799] together with the rich sweet wine made at Ægosthena.[1800]

From the various divisions of the Peloponnesos, which we may here regard as one country, several useful commodities were exported. In the matter of corn these divisions of Greece were alternately exporters and importers according, probably, to the fluctuations of the season or peculiar exigencies created by the accidents of peace or war.[1801] They perpetually, however, supplied their neighbours with cheese and wine, and various other articles of use or luxury.

The poet Alcman celebrates a fragrant wine produced in the vicinity of Sparta,[1802] but it is nowhere stated whether it was exported or not. The little state of Phlius produced likewise a superior wine which was esteemed at Athens.[1803] Laconia exported cheese, which, being shipped at Gythium,[1804] was commonly supposed to be made at that place. The cheese of Tromileia in Achaia enjoyed as great a reputation throughout Greece, as the Parmasan in modern Europe. It was remarkable for the extreme delicacy of its flavour, and was made from goat’s milk with the juice of the fig-tree instead of rennet.[1805] Sicyon carried on a considerable trade in salted conger.[1806]

Several medicinal plants were obtained from this part of Greece, as liquorice vetch[1807] found on the tops 332of lofty mountains where the snows lay unmelted during a considerable portion of the year. The canton which most abounded in this plant seems to have been the country round Pheneon in Arcadia.

In the neighbourhood of Psophis in the same state, the cultivation of the heraclean all-heal[1808] was carried on to a great extent, as Arcadia traded largely in this article of the materia medica. The juice was collected in two ways, and at two different seasons of the year; first from the root when the plant began to germinate in spring. A small trench having been excavated about it, an incision was made in the root and a number of broad leaves spread around to receive the liquor which flowed forth. This, at first white, assumed externally as it dried, a saffron hue. The second method was to make an incision in the stem about harvest-time, when the fluid appears tog have been collected in the same manner as before. Near Nonacris was obtained a poisonous water which distilled slowly like dew from a rock. It was of a sharp and icy coldness, and so bitter and acrid, that no vessel whatsoever could contain it save the hoof of an ass, in which accordingly it was preserved.[1809]

Among the poisons of the Peloponnesos was the root of the meadow-saffron,[1810] found chiefly in Messenia, where likewise grew the æthiopis, a plant used by magicians as well as by the children of Æsculapius.[1811] The centaury,[1812] likewise, and the seseli,[1813] were among the exports of this part of Greece.

From Arcadia were obtained large carbuncles,[1814] 333which were cut and polished into mirrors, with timber of all kinds,—as deal, larch, and pine, together with the smilax,[1815] which was sawed into thin planks, and used for necessary articles of furniture. The neighbourhood of Mantinea produced an excellent species of radish which was exported.[1816] Arcadia likewise produced, in its rich pastures, fine herds of cattle, together with asses and horses, no way inferior to those of Thessaly.[1817]

Argos exported also horses,[1818] with purple garments,[1819] wild boars,[1820] caldrons,[1821] shields,[1822] and richly varied carbuncles,[1823] found in the neighbourhood of Trœzen;[1824] Sicyon, pictures,[1825] wine,[1826] and a peculiar kind of shoe which looked well with white socks or stockings;[1827] Elis, magnificent horses,[1828] whips,[1829] flax,[1830] poisons, iris unguent,[1831] centaury from the skirts of Mount Pholoë,[1832] nenuphar,[1833] which was found growing on the river Anygros, and sea-coal, used chiefly by smiths;[1834] Achaia mistletoe, parsley,[1835] headnets, all kinds of fine linen, manufactured at Patræ,[1836] and the Pellenian cloaks,[1837] which were proposed as prizes in certain games. Epidauros was remarkable for its noble breed of horses;[1838] Corinth, which was frequently supplied with corn from Epeiros, 334itself exported[1839] carpets, ladies’ summer mantles, linen tunics,[1840] articles of virtu in bronze and gold,[1841] and carbuncles variegated like those of Trœzen, with purple and white, but of a paler hue.[1842] Quinces[1843] of the richest colour and finest flavour, were found in this part of the isthmus; and probably pears which were found every where else in Peloponnesos. Corinthia abounded also with large and excellent turnips, which were no doubt exported to the neighbouring countries.[1844]

Among the productions which Laconia[1845] supplied to commerce were a bearded and somewhat light wheat,[1846] cheese, rathe figs,[1847] cabbage, lettuces, cucumbers,[1848] which required much watering, the euphorbia, hemlock, second in virtue to that of Susa,[1849] clouded canes,[1850] beautiful green marbles,[1851] hones and emeralds from Mount Taygetos.[1852] The dogs of Sparta were highly prized by the rest of Greece,[1853] and exported 335largely for the chace; according to Shakespeare, as early as the age of Theseus.

My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flew’d, so sanded; and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-kneed and dew-lap’d like Thessalian bulls,
Slow in pursuit, but match’d in mouths like bell
Each under each. A cry more tuneable
Was never hollow’d to, nor cheer’d with horn
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.

In addition to the above, Sparta exported cothons,[1854] a species of fictile cups of a dusky brown, and so small as to have been conveniently carried in the long-necked wicker baskets which served the soldiers of Greece in lieu of a knapsack. It had one handle, and the rim projecting inwards, kept back the grosser particles of mud contained in the water, or rather, perhaps, deceived the eye by its hue. It was, moreover, the common drinking vessel of sailors on board ship.[1855] The manufacture of these cups formed a distinct branch of business, the individuals engaged in which were called cothon-makers,[1856] to distinguish them from ordinary potters.

In their festivals and marriage entertainments, as well as in war which they regarded much in the same light, the Spartans indulged in the luxury of fictile vessels, but at their common tables they drank out of wooden bowls,[1857] for the production of which, as well as of smaller goblets, Laconia was famous. It likewise, in later times at least, manufactured for exportation massive gold plate curiously chased, which, under the Macedonian kings, found its way to Egypt.[1858] Indeed these military 336utilitarians appear to have excelled in the making of all articles of ordinary convenience, as couches, easy-chairs, and tables, which accordingly were much sought after.[1859] Doors have likewise been enumerated among Laconian exports,[1860] but with little probability, especially when we recollect the directions given by the Spartan legislator for the construction of this part of domestic defence;[1861] nor is it a jot more likely that the carts and waggons which the Lacedæmonians constructed of smilax ever found their way beyond the borders of Laconia, unless employed in carrying provisions for its own armies.[1862]

The steel and iron, however, of the Lacedæmonian forges were, as elsewhere stated, in great request for the making of carpenters’ and stonecutters’ tools, augers, files, chisels,[1863] &c.; as were likewise the Laconian locks and keys, which were divided into three wards, and far more intricate than those in common use.[1864] The manufactures which flourished in the city of Sparta itself, and were chiefly, perhaps, designed to supply the home-market were those of iron rings, daggers,[1865] short scimitars, swords, spits, axes, hatchets, and scythes, together with felt,[1866] walking-sticks,[1867] lute and bow-strings, which, as well as several of the above, we know to have been exported.[1868]

337The citizens of Amyclæ excelled in the making of ladies’ slippers;[1869] and in the other parts of Laconia were produced an elegant kind of men’s shoes of red leather,[1870] like those at present worn by the Turks.[1871] In weaving and dyeing, also, the Lacedæmonians distinguished themselves, their mantles[1872] and their woollen garments, whether of purple or scarlet,[1873] having been in much esteem throughout Greece, as was likewise the purple by itself.[1874]

If we proceed now to the states of northern Greece, commencing with Bœotia, we shall find, that their exports were little less rich or varied. For the daily consumption of life[1875] the Athenians obtained from this country a plentiful supply of poultry and wild-fowl,[1876] such as the francolin, the coot, ducks, divers, geese,[1877] jackdaws, and pyctides. Cats, too, were among the exports of Bœotia, (though whether, as in Spain, they were substituted for rabbits at table, seems hard to determine,) together with foxes, moles, otters, hares, and hedgehogs.[1878]

This state, likewise, furnished the rest of Greece with reeds[1879] for the manufacture of pipes and flutes: they were produced on the banks of the Melas, a river which, according to the ancients, resembled in character and productions the Egyptian Nile. The wheat of Bœotia, where such is the fertility of the soil, that it returns fifty for one, was of old observed 338to be so heavy and full of nourishment, that the athletæ[1880] considered a chœnix and a half of it as equal to two chœnices of that produced in Attica. If any country, therefore, could, in the matter of bread, have been expected to be independent of its neighbours, it would doubtless have been Bœotia, which, nevertheless, we find importing, in times of scarcity, corn from Thessaly.[1881]

The remaining exports of this state may be thus enumerated: cucumbers,[1882] radishes, leeks from Ascra, turnips from Thebes,[1883] mustard, heraclean all-heal,[1884] pennyroyal, wild marjoram, nenuphar, or madonia, found in the river Haliartos,[1885] the best black hellebore from Mount Helicon,[1886] lampwicks, mats,[1887] locusts, cheese,[1888] wine and stock-fish from Anthedon,[1889] and eels from Lake Copais.[1890] Granite, likewise, and a valuable kind of marble, now called brocatello, was obtained from the quarries near Thebes.[1891]

The magnet[1892] also was found in this country, as well as a species of myrrh extracted from the root of a tree,[1893] and resembling in fragrance and medicinal qualities the celebrated Arabian gum. Of manufactured goods no great quantities seem to have been sent out of Bœotia,[1894] though its helmets and chariots, together with its apothecaries’ mortars[1895] and the pottery of Aulis enjoyed a great reputation.[1896]

339Phocis exported a celebrated kind of cutlery,[1897] manufactured at Delphi, golden tripods,[1898] fans which found their way even to Cypros,[1899] together with excellent wheat and barley grown in the neighbourhood of Elatea,[1900] an inferior kind of deal,[1901] black[1902] and white hellebore from Anticyra,[1903] apples from the uplands around the shrine of Apollo,[1904] agrostis from Parnassos,[1905] purple fish caught at Bulis,[1906] and kermes from the plain between Ambryssos and Stiris: